If you’re like me and hyper read – skimming headlines relentlessly, jumping from Vanity Fair to the New York Times, and then into techdom, catching up on the latest on Mashable, VentureBeat, The Verge – then you’ve probably already heard of Read it Later. It’s brutally handy for us voracious readers, us ridiculous, latte-fueled charlatans of content consumption. I can tag articles across the web that I want to read later. Simple as that. And when I have some spare time in the early morning I can pull up the app and see all of the content, neatly formatted on the iPad, smartphone, or Web – it works on everything.
The company behind the app (founded 2007, San Francisco) has renamed the service Pocket, and given it a fresh coat of paint. Although I’m not keen on the new name — I preferred the literal “Read it Later” — the app is even better. This is a crowded space: Instapaper, Readability, and others are vying for our attention as the go-to offline readers. I’ve tried most of them, and here’s what I like about Pocket:
Google Chrome integration
You can install this Chrome app that adds a small icon to the top right of the browser. See an article you like, but don’t have time to read, just click it and it’s added to Pocket.
Pinterest meets Flipboard
I like the new look. When you pull up Pocket, like the other readers, you are presented with your tagged content. But the presentation here is special. Various sized rectangles float on the screen, with clean headlines, an abstract and content source (you can also view articles in a standard list which could be more convenient for quick scans). Aesthetically, quite pretty.
This is a big one. If your reader of choice doesn’t integrate with your content sources, news feeds, etc. then you’re sunk. Again, Pocket is strong in this regard. News360, Pulse, Flipboard, among others all have the option to link to the app. So if I’m enjoying a great story from The New Yorker via Flipboard I can hit “Read Later” and pop it into the archive for reference.
Like many of its peers, Pocket is a handy tool. Just when I think personalized news is dead (please, not another paper.li), I find a reason to re-consider its practical application.