Computerized Investing > January 11, 2014

Pocket for iOS and Android

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by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

Free

The Pocket app lets you save articles, videos and more from the Web for later enjoyment.

Often when I am on the bus in the morning, I peruse a number of online media outlets to get a sense of what’s going on in the world. Rarely am I able to read everything during my 20-minute commute so I use the Pocket app, available for iOS and Android, to save links that interest me so I can come back to them later on my PC, iPhone or tablet.

The app is free and after installing it on an iPhone it walks you through the registration process, which includes confirming the email address you use on your mobile device. This is important since one way you can save links is by emailing the URL to Pocket, after which the service will save the link to your list.

Using Pocket, there are two ways to save articles. This first is with a "bookmarklet" that you install in the Safari browser. The Pocket website provides a helpful video tutorial that walks you through this multi-step process. Once you have done this, every time you bookmark a link in Safari to Pocket, the link will appear in the Pocket app. The second method, as mentioned earlier, is to email the URL to your account for later reading.

When you want to read an article you’ve “pocketed,” launch the app and you’ll find the queue of articles that you’ve saved. Each listing includes the article headline, the source site and an image from the article. I find this to be a more aesthetically pleasing display compared to some other services that let you save links for later reading. When you select a link, Pocket defaults to displaying the article in a stripped-down format that I found incredibly easy to read, especially on a mobile device such as my iPhone. You can switch between two different fonts and adjust the font size, the background color and the display’s brightness. From this version of the article you can also email the article to others or share it via Twitter or Facebook. Alternatively, you can view the article directly from the source site if you have an Internet connection.

Pocket is also integrated into over 500 apps across multiple platforms, so chances are you will be able to save links to Pocket directly from within your favorite apps, including Flipboard and Twitter.

The newest iOS version that followed the release of iOS 7 offers Instant Sync that keeps the content available on your iOS app constantly up-to-date. This functionality uses the new iOS 7 remote notifications to automatically retrieve new items from your Pocket account and display them on your list in the Pocket app, even if the app is closed.

After using the app for a few days, I have come to appreciate Pocket’s simplicity. I have even found that I am reading more, and probably missing out on less, with this app. If you are someone who is looking for a way to save articles to read later without having to create an endless stream of web bookmarks, the free Pocket app is worth a look.

Pocket for iOS and Android

Free


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