It's nice to see Pocket is continuing to add new features exclusive to Premium subscribers. In the 6.2 update released today, Pocket has introduced 7 new fonts (including two of my favorites – Whitney and Ideal Sans), plus controls for line height and margin width. There's also a new Auto Dark Mode setting (which could be a nice companion to Night Shift on iOS 9.3).
I've been trying Pocket again because of Recommendations (you can follow mine, too), and I had already bought a Premium subscription last year, but I haven't found much utility in the permanent archival and auto-tagging functionalities. More typographic controls is something I deeply appreciate, and I hope we'll see more Premium features this year.
I've talked about Fiery Feeds in my review of 2Do and in previous emails to Club MacStories members – it's an RSS reader developed by Lukas Burgstaller that works with a lot of RSS services and that strives to become the most powerful option for RSS power users on iOS. I'd like to quickly point out the 1.6 update that was released this week as it inches closer to that vision with new integrations.
Pocket wants to build a save button for the Internet, and with over 2 billion items saved to the service the company is now turning to personalization as a way to entice users to save more to get more out of it.
Today, Pocket founder Nate Weiner has announced a public beta of Pocket for iOS, Android, and the web, featuring a new Recommendations feature to receive new items similar to what has been saved in the main list.
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. Read more
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. Read 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.
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.