Apps are fairly common to download now that adults and 8 yr olds have smart phones, tablets and iPods. The good news is some of the most useful ones are free. There are a slew of lifestyle and productivity apps meant to make life easier. My favorite one in the last few months has been the Pocket. The Pocket app is user friendly, free and perfect for modern online reading habits.
How it Works
Pocket allows users to save a web page or article for later reading—offline. When it was first released, developers named it Read it Later. That super non exciting name wasn’t catchy enough and the app was re-branded as Pocket. For users who have data limits on their phones or bad reception the Pocket app becomes a favorite quickly.
The Pocket app works by simply downloading the free app, setting up your account and then mailing the web page to Pocket’s email address. Pocket is the app you never really knew you wanted, but once you get it, you’ll save everything. Recipes you’ll never use? Check. Long winded opinion pieces? Check. That really useful video everyone’s been telling you to watch? Check. Once you open the Pocket app, it downloads all of the pages you’ve sent. The trick is to download before you leave the area with great reception or Wi-Fi. If you’re offline, just open the Pocket app and choose which article you’d like to read. It’s pretty straightforward. It will also save your data plan monthly and bookmark articles, images and videos you like.
Another nice feature is the automatic highlight setting. Articles are highlighted at the top of your list. If you like to keep everything categorized, Pocket organizes your list into video, articles and images. That ability is useful once since there is no limit to how many articles you can send. To delete items you just tap or swipe the menu and hit the trash button.
Pocket also has a search function to help you find that one article out of 50 dozen in your list. Also, the page flipping feature works well with long articles. Just like other social media sites and apps, Pocket allows you to tag and favorite the downloads you like the most. To tag an article or image, users can swipe across and tap the tag icon. After this, you’re able to enter a custom label. From the same menu, Pocket allows you to tweet, post to Facebook, send to Evernote or share the pocketed article all with a few taps. As far as settings, change the background color and font size for easier reading from the menu. You aren’t able to watch the downloaded videos unless you still have a net connection. This is one of the few cons of the app. Also there is no way to reorder you’re list, though it’s easily searchable.
Pocket App Premium
Pocket does have a premium version for $5 a month or $44.99 a year. Users can buy it in the Apple App Store. The upgrade includes being able to search the whole text, not just the title. Also, save your pocketed articles forever even if the links are broken or removed. Essentially, Pocket Premium will be a permanent online archive. If you’re in an area with spotty cell service or Wi-fi, Pocket will be your best friend. I use it so much that I say Pocket as a verb now. I didn’t expect to use it as an article archiver, but now that’s one of the main uses for me. People who use tons of data, share articles or want an archive of interesting articles will want to use this “I don’t really need it, but now I can’t be without it app”, daily.
Where to Get It: iTunes Store, Google Play Store
Pros: Archives content easily, Allows offline reading, Title searches, Ease of use
Cons: No full text search, Unable to watch videos offline