The internet by itself can be a crazy place full of distractions, fascinating or insightful, myriad and multi-faceted. You a lonesome traveller of this seemingly infinite highway have very little to keep track of what catches your fancy. Or should we call them pit-stops? Almost every web browser has a bookmarking feature. Which over time gets so messy and disorganized you cringe at the prospect of having to visit each link to revisit the content for time pass or serious research. Here’s where POCKET comes as a typical god send.
Be it casual reads, funny kitten videos, life hacks or serious research topics. Pocket helps keep your content of interest organized for reading later at a more convenient time. Fans of online content will find this particularly helpful. Since its difficult to keep track of things once you are online. Also, amidst the hullaballoo of work or school something interesting might escape from your memory, and plunging into browsing history is more or less a futile activity.
Think of pocket as a mini-diary or scrapbook of sorts where you keep little stories for reading at when its convenient. The ability to view exactly what you need in the best possible format for your current device (mobile, tablet, PC etc) and customize the text / content is truly remarkable. With the best part being the ability to read even in the absence of an Internet Connection.
Note: Although this is a multi-platform app, we will keep the discussion restricted to its Android app.
Running the app for the first time requires the user to sign up for a mandatory Pocket account. That is accessible over any platform. Once registration formalities are completed. The user is then briefed about how to use the app to save articles and links on interest. Even presenting to you’re the list of supported apps on your phone which can integrate with Pocket. Once you start saving links into your Pocket app. You will be greeted with a neatly organized view of the various links on the Pocket app Home screen. The pages will be cached for offline access, with the user having the freedom to choose exactly how much should be saved ie: either pure text, text plus media, just the images or videos etc. However, to view videos one must be connected to the net.
A great feature of this app is that it automatically optimizes the content for comfortable viewing depending upon the user’s device. We may go as far as to say it provides a better experience than probably what the content creators can provide while its hosted on their websites. A great degree of flexibility is added by the ability to filter content and view only what’s essential. Also unlike typical browsers users can change the font, background colour, highlight text for a personalized experience.
Next we come to organizing content. The latest version of the Pocket app automatically organizes your content based on some basic categories.
- Firstly, on the basis of size as Quick reads and Long reads.
- Secondly, on the basis of the type of content you save most often.
Now although this is convenient on its own and eliminates user intervention. However, the inability to create categories to personally organize one’s content might be seen as a drawback. Although tagging articles with common titles is possible. But you need multiple articles of the same tag, before Pocket organizes them into a category. However, since the inbuilt tagging and searching features are so accurate and powerful it more or less overcomes this shortcoming.
The content saved is very neatly presented to the user, firstly in the form of categories, where your latest additions featured on top. Followed by bookmarked articles. User can easily sort items according to need or type as Images, Videos, Text and so on. The search option is powerful allowing users to find articles using names, tags or even URLs. Thus allowing you to find exactly what you need even from large and messy collections.
The Open API of the Pocket app gives the user the freedom to save their favourite links, images, pages, articles or videos directly from their favourite apps. Say Youtube, twitter, Zite, Flipboard, Pulse, Poki, Dolphin Browser and the list is growing every day (Currently over 500 apps are supported) Hence, you can view your saved pages and videos directly in the Pocket app. Coupled with this is the support for multiple platforms and browsers. Thus giving the user complete freedom and immense flexibility.
Although Pocket is not unique as far as the services and features it provides. But it still is the oldest and the best connected of all the similar apps present in the market. With support for multiple platforms, powerful customization options and compatibility with almost every app imaginable. Pocket is an essential app to have if you are a fan of internet content. Particularly its invaluable for people who like to keep their topics of interest close at hand for immediate reference. As well for students who like to keep their research related articles in an organized fashion.
Similar options like Instapaper and Readability offer some novel customization features and unique gimmicks like tilt scrolling and other unique content skimming options however, Pocket still remains the first choice due to its sheer compatibility, ease of use and its existence over such a long period only means that it has already covered most of bases while the new players are yet to explore them.