If I had any previous complaint about Pocket, it’s that their website felt too much like a tablet app and wasn’t easy to use on the desktop. Following Pocket’s iOS 7 update, they’ve redesigned their website making it significantly easier to use. Everything has been unified into a single cohesive toolbar, it’s faster, and it’s visually more appealing. If you’re at the office or on the go, Pocket on the web is now just as great as its native iOS and Mac apps.

Pocket for iOS 7

When Read It Later relaunched as Pocket last year, I was intrigued by the service’s focus on allowing users to “save everything for later”. In the months that followed, Pocket received a native Mac app, better browser extensions, deeper integration with iOS apps thanks to a new SDK, and started expanding to more devices and OSes, following Nate Weiner’s original strategy to bring Pocket to as many platforms as possible. Today, Pocket is updating its iOS app to take advantage of iOS 7 and ensuring that content is always available on an iPhone or iPad, even if the app isn’t running. The new Pocket is a good example of developers using the new iOS 7 APIs to enhance existing apps. (more…)


Clean URLs

I don’t like it when third-party apps or services force me to share links to articles or webpages using their own custom shortened links. I understand the appeal of personalized short domains – after all, we tweet mcstr.net links with the @macstoriesnet account – as they can provide analytics to track clicks, can save characters, and, at least in theory, they “look cool”. However, I’ve been long considering the idea of dropping our mcstr.net links, but I think the issue is worse (and more annoying) for apps and services that don’t tweet links to their own content (like we do) but that override others’ links with different domains. An example is Pocket, which gives you the clean, original URL when you choose the “Copy Link” action from the sharing menu, but that instead returns pocket.co links when sending text to Drafts (which I do often). I’ve grown tired of this practice (in Pocket and other services), and I’ve put together a workflow based on a Python script that allows me to easily resolve short links without having to open the browser and tap on multiple menus. (more…)

After an update that added support for Quotebook, Pocket for iOS has been updated today to let users send text to Agile Tortoise's Drafts.

In the current implementation, the app will send an article's title and shortened URL if no text is selected; if there is a text selection, Pocket will send quoted text and shortened URL to Drafts. I like it, but I wish there was a setting to send the shared link with its original, non-shortened URL.

I'm very glad Pocket added Drafts integration. In this way, you can tweak my Evernote workflows to, say, append bits of text to a single note.

Alongside bug fixes and improvements for a minor 4.5.1 update, Pocket for iOS has added sharing to WordPress, Quotebook, and Twitterrific.

Quotebook is, as MacStories readers know, my favorite app for storing and retrieving quotes. I already use it with RSS, and it’s good to see Pocket supporting it with the share menu that was revamped in version 4.5.

Pocket 4.5.1 is available now on the App Store.

Pocket, Share to Friend

One year ago today, Read It Later was reborn as Pocket, transforming into a service that emphasized saving anything, not just articles, for later. For the past year, Pocket has rapidly iterated while landing on numerous devices between Android and iOS, even arriving on Apple’s desktops and laptops with a native Mac app. Recently, Pocket made it even easier to save stuff for later thanks to Feedly, WordPress, and HootSuite integration. With more than 8.5 million users who’ve saved more than 300 million articles in the past year, Pocket has also launched Pocket for Publishers, giving creators on the web an easy way to gain insights on the lifespan of their content.

Share to Friend Inbox

To celebrate their one year anniversary, Pocket is launching Send to Friend, a brand new feature that goes beyond sharing to Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. Send to Friend improves upon email sharing, which Pocket found people used more than twice as often as sharing to social networks. Send to Friend allows for better interpersonal sharing between friends and family. Content can be shared with a comment and a highlighted quote, and if the person receiving the shared link also uses Pocket, they’ll receive a Push Notification and the content in their inbox. Anyone who receives a link can save it to their list of stuff to view later, or simply ignore it.

Share Menu

Lastly, Pocket improves upon their Share Menu by automatically bubbling up icons and making more convenient shortcuts to often used services and friends that you share to. If you find yourself sharing to Twitter and to a couple of particular friends more often, the Share Menu will place shortcuts to them first. Of course, you can always get to seldom used services at any time.

Pocket with Send to Friend is available as a free download in the App Store.


I typically catch up on my reading list late at night, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the occasional cup of coffee and longform article during the day.[1]

Readtime is an interesting idea for those who like to “get things read” in short or long reading sessions, depending on how much time they have available.

Readtime connects to Pocket and Readability and fetches articles in your reading list, analyzing how many minutes it would take you to read them. I have no idea what kind of algorithm the developers are using to determine reading time, but it seemed accurate in my tests. (more…)

After Michael Schneider, creator of Read Later, joined the Pocket team to release the official Pocket app for Mac, I wondered if there was a real need for a “read later” (lowercase) application for the desktop:

I’m still not completely sold on the overall concept of a desktop read-later app. I’ve got used to thinking of “read later” as a inherently mobile state of mind. I “catch up” on articles and videos with my iPhone and iPad. The Mac is were I discover stuff. I guess a desktop app can be seen as an add-on, a companion to the main experience.

Looking around for alternatives that would work with the service I use on a daily basis for text articles, Marco Arment’s Instapaper, I was not impressed with Words:

Unfortunately, while promising, Words isn’t there yet. Words looks decent when it’s focused on text (generated by the Instapaper parser) in full-screen mode, but everything else is pretty buggy, unstable, and unfinished.

ReadKit, a new app by Webin released today, is — finally — a solid piece of software for those who have been looking for a desktop version of their favorite read later service. ReadKit, in fact, works with Instapaper, Pocket, and Readability, therefore covering the most popular third-party read later services. The app costs $1.99, and if you want to use it with Instapaper, you’ll need the $1 monthly subscription. (more…)


Pocket Releases Mac App

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Pocket, the “save for later” service that relaunched as a major revamp of Read It Later back in April, is launching today its first official desktop application for OS X. Pocket for OS X is available today for free on the Mac App Store.

I’ve been able to test Pocket for Mac during the past week. Michael Schneider, creator of Read Later (nèe Read Now), joined the Pocket team to create the new Mac app; you may remember Read Later as a client for Instapaper/Pocket/Readability articles that we’ve been following here at MacStories since the first version. According to Pocket, the former Read Later app will continue to work for existing users, but it will no longer be supported.

Pocket for Mac is a new app, but it borrows heavily in terms of underlying concept and flow from Read Later. On the left, there’s a sidebar listing articles and videos with thumbnails for visual previews; the actual article (or video) is displayed on the right in a clean, Pocket-formatted view that uses the same parser of the mobile app. I personally find Instapaper’s parser to be slightly more precise than Pocket’s when it comes to long articles, but I also find Pocket way better at parsing content than Readability, especially for embedded videos and images. (more…)