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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.