Read your ar­ti­cles later with Pocket

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - tim hard­wick

Free (IAPs) From Read It Later, Inc, get­pocket.com Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 11 or later

Pocket be­gan life in 2007 as Read it Later, be­fore the pop­u­lar book­mark­ing ser­vice was even­tu­ally bought by Fire­fox de­vel­oper Mozilla in 2017. At the time, in­dus­try ob­servers ex­pected the ser­vice to be in­te­grated into the com­pany’s browser, since Pocket’s reader was so good at strip­ping out ads from on­line con­tent. In­stead, Mozilla chose to keep it a sep­a­rate prod­uct, but with the ex­is­tence of in­creas­ingly ad­vanced built–in browser func­tions like Sa­fari’s Read­ing List and Reader View, Pocket was in dan­ger of be­com­ing re­dun­dant. This lat­est up­date to the app, ver­sion 7.0, aims to avoid that fate by over­haul­ing the in­ter­face and mak­ing the dis­cov­ery and ac­ces­si­bil­ity of ar­ti­cles, web­sites, videos, and other web con­tent an ex­pe­ri­ence worth re­turn­ing to.

Largely it suc­ceeds, thanks to a cleaner ar­ti­cle view with cus­tomiz­able fonts, as well as dark and sepia themes that rest your eyes and help you fo­cus. Text high­light­ing and tag­ging op­tions re­main, but aside from those de­sign changes it’s clear that Pocket wants the one–tap Lis­ten But­ton to be the stand­out fea­ture. The op­tion was ac­tu­ally rolled out back in 2015, but Pocket is now us­ing Ama­zon’s Polly text– to–speech ser­vice to pro­vide a more hu­man sound­ing voice that’s more pleas­ant to lis­ten to for long pe­ri­ods.

The app’s main menu stays true to its user–friendly ori­gins, with saved ar­ti­cles liv­ing in My List, the Dis­cover tab sug­gest­ing cu­rated con­tent, and the Ac­tiv­ity tab feed­ing con­tent from fel­low Pocket users you choose to fol­low.

All of these fea­tures come with the free ver­sion of Pocket, and although non–pay­ing users’ lists are in­ter­spersed with spon­sored con­tent, it isn’t over­cooked. Apart from an ad–free ex­pe­ri­ence, Pre­mium sub­scribers ($4.99/month or $44.99/year) get a de­cent set of ex­tras, in­clud­ing more Reader view cus­tomiza­tion op­tions, a per­ma­nent cloud li­brary that keeps the con­tent you book­mark even off­line, ad­vanced search func­tions, sug­gested tags, and un­lim­ited high­lights.

In an era where browsers in­creas­ingly vie for our screen time, there’s still plenty of space for the Pocket app on our iPhones.

the bot­tom line. Spurred on by its ri­vals, Pocket has suc­cess­fully come of age.

The reader view is not only clean and crisp, but fully cus­tomiz­able too.

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