Pocket iPhone App Review.
If you're like me and always find something interesting to read, but it's always the wrong time, the wrong place, then you're in dire need of a place to store all these articles for later reading. Sending a link to them to yourself always works, but it takes longer than it should and your inbox will get crowded pretty quickly. Luckily, all you need is right in your pocket. Go ahead...reach in and look for yourself. Yes, it's your iPhone. Now go ahead and download Pocket from the App Store and enjoy a brilliant solution that saves you the articles you want to read, as well as the time it takes you to save them with other solutions.
What is Pocket?
Pocket was formerly named Read it later, and that should tell you exactly what the app does. But to put it simply, Pocket helps you save articles, video or web pages that you find on the internet but don't have time to read or view at that time. It's a pocket full of clippings, if you will, that will never get lost, will always stay organized. It's a pocket that never gets filled up. A pocket that you can access everywhere, anytime.
But with the newly designed Pocket, your read it later experience evolved into a pleasurable experience. Pocket was chosen as AppStore's best of 2012 and it's iPad app was an app of the week with Apple. And rightly so. The app is fantastic, Read it later has been trimmed down and truly useful features have been added. The core of everything is the user's experience and it shows through its mechanics as well as its design.
I should only use one word to describe Pocket's design, but too many come to mind. Probably the only word that matters for us, the users, is "works." Pocket's design works. It puts the reading experience before anything else. Article text is clean. The UI is bright and clean. And the flat approach to design has already made me all warm on the inside.
Upon logging in, you are greeted with a clean list of all your articles, with the last added article first. You can filter by content type (article, video or images). You can mark an article as read, add it to your favorites, archive it or delete it. You can also use tags to organize your articles and later one filter by a specific tag.
The reading experience
It's all about the content. The navigation plus any other tools get out of the way, making room for a properly formatted content. Tap once on the screen to bring back the reading options. From there, you'll be able to mark the article as read, add it to your favorites or share it with your friends. You'll also be able to increase or decrease the font size, increase or decrease the screen brightness or even toggle between white text on dark background and dark text on white background.
Pocket will automatically strip out any ads and other unnecessary content, leaving only just the article for you to read. If you'd rather read the web version instead of the stripped-down article, you can alwasy toggle between the two via the top toolbar.
Cross-platform and cross-devices
Pocket has apps for every device out there. So no matter if you're an iPhone user, or browse the web from your iPad, Pocket has you covered. But what about Android, Windows Mobile or Blackberry? Pocket has you covered as well. And to tie the knot, Pocket comes with both desktop apps (for Mac) and browser-based apps for every major browser (except for you IE!).
But more importantly than cross-platform and cross-device, Pocket users will enjoy the very same amazing experience on any device or platform. The elegant, brilliant design crosses device and platform borders and it is truly something worth noting. Every app features the same layout and the same features. Beautiful!
And as if that isn't enough, Pocket has a powerful API that lets third-party apps make use of it. So Pocket is fully integrated with Flipboard, Pulse or Zite. Together with the browser extensions, you can now save to your Pocket from virtually anywhere you have internet access.
In turn, Pocket integrates with Twitter, Facebook, Buffer or Evernote. So you can send articles that you enjoyed to your friends or even save them to Evernote.
How I use Pocket
I use a winning combination of Pocket and Evernote. Evernote does a great thing at, well, remembering everything. Pocket is amazing at visualizing and reading articles you find on the web. So what I do is I use Pocket as a purgatory, an in-between solution. I usually find articles and videos that I don't have the time to read or see at that very moment. So I quickly add them to Pocket. Later, I get back to them, read them through and either delete them or send them to Evernote for safe-keeping. I try my best to apply zero-inbox strategy to Pocket, lest I make a mess of both Evernote and Pocket and lose days upon days clearing it up.
Pocket has amazing iPhone, iPad, Mac and web-based apps. The experience is thrilling and consistent on all of these. The simplicity of their browser bookmarklets and extensions truly make it a one-click solution to saving web content for later reading. If you don't already have an account, I strongly suggest you get one now. It's free and your reading experience won't ever be the same!
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