Today I’ll be reviewing the Pocket app. Launched in 2007 by Nathan Weiner under the name Read it Later, this app allows you to save articles or websites to watch later, even without an internet connection. With a new name and design, this app is one of the best in its category.
Sometimes while online on our smartphones we come across some content that interest us, but we can’t read them till the end. With this application you can save a smaller version, free of distraction and unnecessary advertising, so that you can come back to it at a later time even when no internet connection is available. You can do this on all of your devices (smartphone, tablet or PC) and you can also save articles, videos (these can only be seen with an internet connection), pictures, websites, etc.
These features make for an extremely useful and functional app. Imagine, for instance, that you are flying somewhere and are asked to set your smartphone to airplane mode, with this app you can still check out the websites or articles that you had previously saved. You can do this in several situations where no internet connections are available or if you simply don’t want to spend too much mobile data.
It’s quite simple to save any content onto your smartphone or tablet since Pocket is linked to Twitter, YouTube, Google, Reader, amongst others. To do that you simply press the share button and click on Pocket. If you’re on your personal computer you can add an extension to your browser to help you do that or you can do it manually. All the articles saved on Pocket will be automatically synced on all of your devices and to watch them later all you have to do is add the same e-mail address to all of your devices.
As soon as you bookmark a webpage on Pocket you’ll get a tab to better organize the saved data and/or share them by e-mail with your contacts. As far as the offline reading version is concerned, you can set the type of view you want in the app. You’ve got a web option, where the article is saved in a version just like the one you see on your browser. There’s also an article version which is a simpler version that keeps the images and text and, finally, you have the ideal view option which allows Pocket to choose the view that best fits the content saved. From our experience, the ideal view has worked perfectly.
On the left side tab of the app you can find several categories that help you navigate through your saved documents. On the ”my list” field you’ll find all the added articles organized in chronological order. This category is divided into articles, videos, images and items that were shared with you. To make the navigation through the saved documents easier, you have a great tool where you can add tags to the documents to sort them out. You can also add favorites, by highlighting certain articles and filing those you’ve already seen. When you file an article, you can no longer view it offline, however you can pull it back up at any time, as long as you have a internet connection.
By using the app and increasing the amount of content added to your account, you’ll be able to unlock the highlights category where you’ll have the best and most relevant items according to your favorite websites, authors and interests, therefore making the category somewhat more dynamic.
On the settings menu, besides the view mode you want to set the documents to, you can find a great variety of options, mainly options for:
- Reading, which allow for some customization according to your preferences
- Transfers, which allow you to choose to have transfers done only by Wi-Fi, store it to an SD memory card, set transfer limits, clean cache, etc.
By reducing the unnecessary information on the pages saved by the app, your phone’s memory usage isn’t a problem and you can always manage or delete the articles that you saved. Therefore your Android’s performance won’t be an issue.
The simple design, the connection with several other apps, the ability to read a vast number of articles offline and the fact that it is so user friendly make this a must-have app for those who often struggle with the lack of internet connection or simply want to read an advertise-free webpage.
Note: Review made by Pedro Silva in android-emotions.pt and translat by Filipa Cerqueira.