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Name: Pocket

Pocket logo

Publisher: Read it Later, inc.

Devices: Available for major devices and platforms including iPhones, iPads (requires iOS 7 or later), Android devices, Kobo and most web browsers. We tested the free version of this app on an iPad Air.

Available from: Apple Store and Google Play.

Price: Free. There is also a premium version of Pocket which we did not test.

Type of information: This app is for saving articles to read offline.

For: Anyone who would like to be able to bookmark articles to read later, on the go and/or offline.

  • Main pros – Works across multiple devices and platforms, easy to use interface, connects well with other apps and social media platforms like Twitter making it easy to bookmark and add content. Has a read aloud function.
  • Main cons –  You will need to keep an eye on how much storage space it is taking up if you are a heavy user.

If you find yourself spotting interesting articles and wanting to bookmark them to read later, or just to save articles for future purposes, then Pocket is a great bookmarking app to use.  Pocket can be linked to your social media accounts on your device or browser. You can easily send the article, or Tweet what you are reading into Pocket by using the share function. On the iPad version, you can save a tweeted link from the Twitter message itself in Pocket without opening up the link, making it very easy to save things to read quickly. This function is currently not available on Android devices.

Pocket includes quick instructions on how to connect to various apps, and it appears to be pretty easy to do this.

Once you’ve sent something to Pocket, the app will pick up the articles when your device is online and then save the content to your device so that you can read it offline. Note: this does not work with paid for online journal articles that are provided by St George’s Library, due to publisher restrictions, and may also depend on any restrictions placed on articles by the content provider.

The app has some basic customisations for font style, size, and background colour. On mobile devices with Text to Speech functionality, the saved articles can be read out to you, meaning you can listen to the articles on the go, or while doing other work. Your list of articles to read can be displayed in a tile or list format on an iPad. You can archive articles once you’ve read them are just delete them, and articles can also be tagged and viewed by tag categories, making it easier to find what you want. Full text searching is only available on the premium version, but you can search by Title or URL in the free version.

Aside from articles, you can also send videos and images and access them from within the app. Videos can only be watched if your device is online as video data is not downloaded to your device.

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As saved articles are stored on your device, you may have to be careful of how many articles you are storing to avoid maxing out your data storage capacity. On Android devices, you can set an upper limit on offline storage which is very useful; you can find this under Pocket settings. This is currently not yet available on Apple devices, however it is a planned feature, so will be implemented in the future by the company. If you are worried about data usage, you can change the settings so that Pocket only downloads content when you are using WiFi.

Other functions that can be useful is the ability to share articles via any of the social media or messaging apps that are on your device, such as Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp. You can also add articles via emailing a link to add@getpocket.com once you’ve confirmed your email address the first time on sending.

All in all, it’s a great app for bookmarking web pages and articles to read later, and if you combine it with using something like IFTTT, you can easily automate what kind of content gets pulled in and saved for perusal at your convenience.

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All posts on this blog are subject to the SGUL Library’s guide to mobile resources disclaimer, please take the time to read it carefully.

 

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