May 11, 2012
Hot on the heels of Instapaper's big update yesterday, here comes another big update to another popular read-later app for iOS. While we haven't heard from Readability since its last update nearly two months ago (not counting its behind-the-scenes fix to its rather controversial URL redirection), Pocket has today released its first version-up since its rebranding last month. Pocket entered the spotlight in April by dint of sheer reinvention. It got rid of the rather generic "Read It Later" moniker, which was akin to calling Google "Search The Web," in favor of its current metaphorical and recall-friendly name. Also, it dropped its price from $2.99 to absolutely free. Most impressively, though, it underwent a major overhaul resulting in a really pleasant reading-later experience. Pocket extends this overhaul a bit further with today's update. The newest version of Pocket gives importance to better legibility with its introduction of not one but two high-contrast color schemes. In addition to the default black-text-on-white-background theme, sepia and dark modes are now part of the app's styling options. The former is for the most part easier on the eyes, while the latter is ideal for bedtime reading. Dark mode also works towards making sure your device's bright screen doesn't disturb your sleeping partner, which is perhaps why it was devised to apply to every corner of the app and not just to the article view. Still on the subject of improving the reading experience in Pocket, the maximum font size supported by the app has been increased. And if you prefer pagination to scrolling while reading, you can activate the app’s new page flipping mode by swiping left or right on an article. Predictably but still remarkably, the app is smart enough to revert to the default page scrolling mode the moment you swipe up or down. This setup is notably different from that of Instapaper, where either mode is enabled in its settings menu. A couple of other improvements the update has in store are automatic detection of URLs copied to clipboard for optional direct saving to the app and additional video classification support for TED and Devour. The update, like the app itself, is available in the App Store for free. At the rate of development these popular read-later apps are going, it’s getting more and more difficult to decide on a single app to use. Fortunately, I've managed to assign specific uses to Pocket and its two main competitors. I imagine I'll be more and more delighted to use Pocket following this handy update. Do you also keep Pocket in your pocket?
Pocket (Formerly Read It Later)