If you use it, you’ll never leave it
Pocket is an application that carefully curates articles from various sources based on your interests. Surprisingly, not too many people I know use the app because they are simply not aware of it. I think Pocket is an intelligent app that allows you to pick topics of interest, and let’s you discover unconventional articles from various publications. Below are few reasons on why I love the app, and what makes it great. But before that, here’s a guide to my writing style:
The descriptions always follow the image (or screenshots). The parts highlighted in yellow will let you know which page we are on. The parts circled or numbered in green are things in the app that I really like.
Three screenshots are combined together, showing the functions in the ‘My List’ page. ‘My List’ features articles that you have saved to read later, or to read again. 1. The tiny headphones icon indicates audio. When you click the icon, articles from your list pop up with a play button that you can press to listen to the article. 100 points for accessibility! Don’t expect voice modulations though— it’s not Audible.
2. The ‘three dots’ icon opens a few options as you can see in the third screenshot. With bulk edit, you can select multiple articles to add to ‘favorites’, or to delete. I will focus on the settings in the image below.
The Settings page has a few nice functions such as ‘Page flipping’ and ‘Open best view’. The page flipping works very much like Kindle; nice touch! In many web-based applications, I have had to zoom in or zoom out to ensure that the view fit my screen. With Pocket’s ‘Open best view’ function, the app automatically decides the best view to show. Another function is ‘Switch theme automatically’ which adjusts the theme to light or dark depending on the ambient light. This is simply great for when I am reading an article sitting in a bus, and then I step out into the sun. Once again, accessibility for the win!
The Discover page of Pocket is where the list of curated articles, based on your interests, sits. The page has different sections such as articles that are ‘Ten Minutes or Less’ and ‘Long Reads Worth the Time’. Based on the time you have, and your mood, you can choose to browse a particular section for articles.
This is a continuation of the Discovery page. 1. These are some of the topics of interest I selected when I started using the app, and all the articles that appear below that section are related to those themes. 2. The ‘Save’ icon is used to save articles that you like, to your list (My List) which can be accessed anytime to view all the saved articles.
This has to be my most favorite thing about Pocket. Psychologically, when we are presented with more choices, we take more time to decide what we want. This is one of the primary reasons why we keep scrolling through social media apps like Instagram or Facebook — there’s so much content and you have a fear of missing out if you stop scrolling. Whereas with Pocket, the app picks out a few articles for the day, and there’s just no more for you to read beyond that. You can come back to the app the next day to read that day’s picks.
This has to be my least favorite thing about Pocket. One might think that the ‘search’ function helps you look for articles you came across elsewhere. Sorry to disappoint, but you can only search for those articles you have saved to your list. Several times, I have mistakenly searched for topics I wanted to read about, assuming Pocket would source content from around and throw the options at me. I wish the ‘search’ function extended to beyond the articles in My List.
The Activity page of Pocket is divided into ‘Following’ and ‘Updates’. You can follow people on Pocket to view their opinions on articles they share. 1. There are also options to ‘re-share’ articles to your profile, and ‘like’ their posts. ‘Updates’ on the other hand show you recommendations and shares where you have been tagged. They are mostly from my husband — he is also kind enough to ‘like’ what I post because he is the only one who follows me. 2. When an item is shared with you, you can also add the article to your list and view it at any time.
And finally, the Profile page of the app shows all your activity. If someone were to view your profile, they would be able to see the articles you have shared and your posts.
I consume content from different sources. In my opinion, with it’s simple and clear design, intuitive interfaces, and “just what you need” functions, Pocket has to be the most intriguing app for content consumption. It sticks to its purpose unlike several platforms where the clutter you see distracts you from performing your primary action.