With an exponential increase in usage, Social Media appears to be here to stay. Amidst the influx of tweets, status updates, photos and videos, the occasional bit of knowledge may rear its head, just waiting to be absorbed into the sponges that are our brains. The problem with this? Those bits of knowledge don’t always come along at the best time to read them, watch them or just generally absorb them. What, then, is the solution to not missing out on these bits of knowledge? Enter: Pocket.
What is Pocket?
Pocket, formerly Read It Later, is a tool to “help people who discover an interesting article, video or web page, but don’t have time to view it.“ Think of Pocket as a digital scrapbook, but instead of having to carry the scrapbook around with you at all times, you can use any number of devices that you undoubtedly have to add content on-the-fly, and have it sync up on all other devices. Pocket is currently out for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and Mac/PC. On any single one of these devices, an article, video or picture can be posted, and accessed from any other device you might have.
How does Pocket work?
In line for coffee at Starbucks and someone tweets a great Gadget Gurus article, but you just don’t have time to read it? Add it to Pocket and read it when you’re “on the throne” at a later time! Pocket works flawlessly with a large number of pre-existing apps including, but not limited to, Tweetbot, Flipboard, Pulse, and Zite. Probably my only complaint with Pocket is how much you have to jump around amongst the various apps in order to get them talking to each other. Once you’ve done that, however, it’s extremely easy to add articles from these social apps, most times requiring only a long press and selecting “Send to Pocket”. Personally, it would be great if more iOS apps interacted with the rest of the environment. In this, Android reigns supreme, but I digress.
Once you’ve added articles, videos or pictures to your Pocket, they’re easily viewable in your Pocket list in a simple, easy to read view.
In much the same way as other content aggregators, articles can be marked as read, favorited, or shared out to other people from nearly any screen in the app. From the list view, swiping the particular article will yield similar options. I found the interface to be extremely easy to use and very intuitive. There’s a reason that Pocket includes little in the way of instructions. Beyond the initial setup, Pocket behaves exactly as you think it should, a sure sign that the developer put a lot of thought into its design. These design features and highlights only look that much better on the iPad version, with that particular app being little more than a better looking, bigger version of the iPhone app.
How Does It Look?
Probably the biggest highlight of Pocket isn’t how it works, but how it presents that usability to the reader. When viewing the articles, each one is presented in a format that fits well with the particular device that it’s being read on. For images, they show up clean and crisp. One of the more interesting features that I’ve seen with Pocket, and one that I like the most, is the ability to lock the screen orientation when viewing video.
Every single aspect of Pocket allows you to view each piece within the local app, so there’s no need to worry about popping out to the browser, or the YouTube app, or some other third party app. While I generally prefer to view things in their native app, Pocket presents things in a great way, and one that doesn’t feel like a slapped-together add-on.
If you’ve ever been concerned about losing a piece of content because you just don’t have the time to read it or view it, then Pocket is most certainly a must-have app. At the wonderfully low price of FREE, it’s really tough to pass up and probably one of the apps that I would recommend every iOS user have on their main screen. For the tech-savvy, on-the-go individual of the day, you absolutely need some sort of aggregator to keep track of what’s important to you. I cannot recommend Pocket enough.
Guru Review Score:
Ease of Use: 9/10 (Takes a little knowledge to integrate with other apps)