Pocket has been around for a considerable time now, and it’s well-known as one of the best services of its type. The main use of Pocket is to save stuff you want to read for later, no matter the content, similar to Instapaper. It saves webpages, articles, forums, whatever you want locally, and because of that you are able to read and access them even without a connection. You may have known it by its old name “Read It later”, which was only recently updated. As a service, it’s fairly simple and hassle-free, and yet supports all the essential features you expect of a reliable service of this type. It’s cross-platform, available on any browser, and also has a very handy Android app, which we’ll be taking a look at today.
You can find Pocket through this link. Both the app and the service are absolutely free, and there are no restrictions when it comes to usage, even in the Android client. So, let’s go ahead and install it. After install, open the app and you’ll see this screen:
You can swipe left to get a general outlook of Pocket’s features, and there are buttons to sign up and log in at the bottom. If you don’t have a Pocket account already, press “Sign Up” and create one now. After logging in, you’ll see a list containing all the articles you may have added up until now, or an empty list if it’s a new account. So, how does Pocket work? How can I save articles in this list? Well, that’s what we’ll do now. Open your web browser of choice and go to a page you’d like to save. It doesn’t matter what browser you use, as long as it has a share option. So, here’s a nifty page I’d like to save for later:
How do I do it? Well, it’s simple. Just look for the “Share” option in your browser:
Then, on the share screen that appears, pick “Add to Pocket”:
After it’s done, you’ll see a “Saved to Pocket” message popup letting you know it was successful. So, let’s go back into Pocket, and check to see if it’s there:
Well, what do you know! Let’s open it and make sure everything was saved in one piece:
Looks good to me! And that’s about it for saving an article, it’s simple, has system wide integration and it just works. You can see, in this case, Pocket saved the whole page as it originally appears. However, on some cases, Pocket will detect that you’re saving a simple article and revert to a sort of “printed” look, instead of the original page. Here’s a good example:
In this view, things are a bit different. it’s optimized for reading, and strips background graphics and layouts in exchange for a cleaner, easier on the eyes look. This view works a bit different and has a few useful features not present in the standard web view. For example, you can switch the font, text size and formatting:
You can also enable a page flipping mode in addition to the standard navigation, by swiping from the edge. This will make Pocket act as if you’re reading a book, and with each swipe the next bit of the article will fill your screen as needed, which can be a pretty handy way to read without losing your place.
Additional Pocket features include tag support, allowing you to organize your things, favorites support, bulk edit, and a bevvy of solutions for accessing and saving on your browser, including the official Chrome Webapp, and a bunch of extensions for adding articles. Very handy to add items immediately from your desktop, and also as a way to interface with your phone. The ability to just send links and have them saved for later viewing is nothing short of amazing, and a life saver when I don’t have a mobile connection available and need some info for later. So, what do you think of Pocket? Let us know in the comments!