Pocket: The All New Read it Later

Read it Later was a one of the original services for saving articles to read later offline, on your smartphone, tablet, or even from your browser. But, I never really liked it, and thought the service was just okay. That is, until they rebranded themselves and came out with a great new look and design. Read it Later was reborn as Pocket, a new way to read stuff later that was much more interesting than the old service.

There were many things that intrigued me about the revamped service, and I had to give it a try. The focus of this article will not be to compare what Read it Later was like to what Pocket is now, nor will it be about comparing it to other similar services like Instapaper. Instead, I want to soley focus on Pocket and what it has to offer. If you’ve never used a read later service, you might first want to check out our article about how they can boost your productivity by letting you read anytime, anywhere.

Features

Pocket’s main feature is that it can save anything on the web that you want to save for later. Whether you found an interesting article that you want to save to use for a research paper, or a funny video that you saw on YouTube that you want to share with your friends, anything you want to save on the web can be savedin Pocket. Think of it as your place to store the stuff you find interesting and want to easily rediscover later.

Pocket Homepage

Pocket Homepage

Once you save what you want into Pocket, you can then view your articles, videos, and more inside the app whenever you want. Pocket displays your saved bookmarks in either a grid or list view, and you can also change the font size or turn on a night mode to make reading easier. Articles can be tagged, which helps you sort your bookmarks into different categories. For example, I tend to save a lot of articles about different apps, so I created a “web” and an “iOS” tag that I add to appropriate articles. Then, when I just want to look at my bookmarks that are specific to web apps, I can just search for that tag.

Reading an article in Pocket

Reading an article in Pocket

There are a variety of ways to save things to your Pocket account. There is a bookmarklet that you can drag and drop onto the bookmark bar of your favorite browser, and then just click it when you’re visiting a page that you want to save. If you are using Chrome, you can install their Pocket extension so you can save pages easily from your browser. You can also email a link to Pocket, which comes in handy if you are using a tablet or smartphone and don’t want to go to the trouble of syncing the bookmarklet to your browser. Finally, a number of apps like Tweetbot have integrated Pocket so you can save links directly to your account without leaving the app.

Saving something into Pocket

Saving something into Pocket

Why Pocket?

There are a variety of reasons to use a bookmarking app like Pocket and everyone will have their own ideas as to why they like it or not. Let me share with you some of the reasons why I like it and have stuck with it. One of the biggest things that I like about Pocket is the fact that I can be just about any where on the web and on any of my devices and still save things to Pocket. With my position as a writer for the AppStorm network, I am constantly reading about the latest apps and technology from my Mac, iPhone, and/or iPad. It is crucial that no matter what device I am on, that I can save an article, video or whatever else catches my fancy into one easy place.

That is where Pocket comes in handy. Whether I’m online on my Mac, reading Twitter on my iPad, or browsing my Google Reader feed on my iPhone, I know I can always save something interesting to Pocket. Of course, I do this by using apps that are connected to Pocket, which is fine by me because a lot of the popular reading apps are connected with it.

Another reason why I like this version of Pocket is the fact that I can save any type of information into it. Whether that be text, video or images, I know it will all be there and I can view them all from within the app. I utilize tags to help sort all of the different things that I save into Pocket, which helps me with managing all of the things that I put in there.

Final Thoughts

All this to say, there is nothing that really makes Pocket stand out from the competition per se. There are other similar apps that have very similar features, but for me, Pocket just works, and I like using it. I am very interested to see what they are going to do do advance the service in the future. It would be nice to see some kind of social features, but it’s not deal breaker for me that it doesn’t have social network integration right now.

If you are looking for a solid bookmarking service that is well connected with many of the every day apps you already use, check out Pocket and see what you think. It’s free, works great, and even looks great on in your browser.


Summary

Save articles, images, and/or videos from the web with Pocket (formerly Read it Later)

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  • http://blindyeti.com Dr.Peril

    This is great! I’ve been using Pocket for … a long time (at least a year+) and I’ve loved it. Every time someone talks about Instapaper or Readability I mention Read It Later as the better of the three. And now, as Pocket, the connectivity to other apps has never been higher, and the UI which was much the same as the competition, is now by far the best. If you’ve been looking, or you’re not 100% with Instapaper or Readability, you should test Pocket. You won’t be disappointed.

    This is a tool I use a dozen times every day, personal and professional. 10/10

    • http://about.me/radie Radie

      Pretty sure it would be physically impossible for this guy to be more right.

  • http://about.kkoolook.com @kkoolook

    Pocket Rules!

  • Mauricio

    I used to use read it later, but with the new interface it feels more like an iPad app, or something touch oriented, which is not good at all if you are using a desktop/laptop with no touch input available.

  • http://slightlylessthangreat.blogspot.com/ Radie

    I loved Read It Later, but I also love the new Pocket.

    My only small gripe… is that the Chrome extension doesnt have the same options as the (still named) Read IT Later add-on for Firefox.. I am a big fan of using the RIL button (with the old logo in the addy bar) to save AND close the window.. I wish I could do that on Chrome. Or at the very least.. dont take it out of the FF add-on when you inevitably update it.

    Nitpicking at it’s finest.. Keep up the great work.. And thanks for going totally free! Been with you guys for a few years now and you are one of the few apps/sites that I never thought about replacing.

  • Pul

    Pocket is almost perfect.
    It just lacks the possibility to share your links with other users. It’s impossible to create a community to share pages, and this is a pity.

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