Read it Later, an internet bookmarking application and service, has gone back to the drawing board to create Pocket. Pocket is completely redesigned and is leaps and bounds better than the old Read it Later app. Let’s take a look at the major changes and if Pocket can compete with its biggest rival: Instapaper.
The biggest change from Read it Later is that the service and app is now free. Read it Later was a $2.99 app, which was a reasonable price, especially since Instapaper currently costs $4.99. By making the service and applications free, consumers no longer have to weigh if they will get $2.99 worth of utility from a bookmarking app and service.
Design wise, Read it Later has been completely scrapped and redesigned. Pocket now has a very flat, 2D look with the ability to sort your bookmarks by video, images, and text. The interface and colors remind me of the Google Currents app, which also features a flat 2D layout and an easy to read format. You can now also tag your articles for easy organization and search. The Pocket app is available on iOS, Android, the Kindle Fire, and as an extension for your browser. Everything works together seamlessly and automatically syncs between all of your devices.
Reading saved articles in the Pocket app for iPhone and iPad is a pleasure. There are options to adjust text size, toggle a serif or sanserif font, and a night reading mode. There is also a toggle at the top of the app to choose between reading just text and reading on the webpage itself. Tagging articles is simple. Tap the edit button and you have the option of selecting multiple items to tag, delete, archive or star. The default article view is very visual, taking the featured image of most articles, if available.
Pocket’s redesign has to be a wake up call for Instapaper, whose design is looking long in the tooth. By lowering the barrier of entry to free, Pocket is poised to be the best cross platform article bookmarking service.