App of the Week – Pocket

pocketWe are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

Do you ever browse the web or social media, spot an interesting-looking article you don’t have time to read, and wish you could save it for later? In the past, my method of choice was emailing the article to myself–it wasn’t organized, and definitely wasn’t an ideal long-term solution. I also couldn’t read the article in question on my iPad/smartphone if I happened to be somewhere without wi-fi.

Enter Pocket. Pocket used to be called “Read It Later,” which aptly described its main purpose. However, the app transformed into a general-purpose “save it for later” tool, where you can save videos, PDFs, images, and anything else you want to look at some other time. You can use a browser bookmarklet to save things to Pocket from your PC, but if you’re on your iPad or phone, Pocket can be used with 800+ apps — perfect for saving from Facebook or Twitter, RSS (i.e. Feedly), and more.

More helpful features:

●    Offline reading — not only can articles be saved for offline reading, but they can be saved to Pocket WHILE you’re offline — perfect for the moment you lose internet, but still want to pull up your website/video/content later.
●    If you have a URL copied to your clipboard, Pocket will ask if you want to save it.
●    If you’re not near your laptop/desktop, and an app you’re using doesn’t support Pocket, you can send links to add@getpocket.com to save the article — no software needed.
●    Cloud sync is excellent — you can access your saved content on your iPad, laptop (at http://getpocket.com), and smartphone of choice.
●    Simple tagging system — it’s also easy to tag new items when an app sends you a link.
●    Aesthetically pleasing — the ability to change the view to a black background and white text is easy on the eyes, especially if you’re doing a lot of screen-reading.
Pocket1
Downsides:
●    If you’re not careful it can take up lots of storage on your iPad/smartphone, but this can be changed in preferences.
●    Pocket’s existing search covers only articles’ headlines and URLs –Pocket Premium searches the full text of articles.
●    Once you archive a read article, it turns into a link with no context – so if you wanted to reference it later and the link doesn’t work, you don’t have access to the content.
●    This is a positive–but you have to pay for it. Pocket Premium solves the previous problem by saving a copy of the page forever, turning the service from “read it later” to “save forever” — capturing the website exactly as it was when you saved it.

Bottom line:
Over 12 million users are using Pocket to save online content for later, and Pocket Premium aims to be a personal archive of everything you’ve wanted to save online. You can integrate it with apps you’re already using, and ones we’ve written about previously, like Evernote. Check it out, and let us know if Pocket helps organize your digital life!
Further Reading:
Pocket lets you shelve items to read and watch when the time is right

How to Use Pocket Like a Pro to Save Everything from the Web

Pocket wants to be your permanent digital library, for a price

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Lauren Dodd Hall, Circulation Librarian