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Pocket 5.0 for Android introduces new design and smarter organization of your read it later lists

Review by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday November 20, 2013.

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Pocket, the popular app for bookmarking articles to be read at a later time, has released version 5.0 of its Android app with the goal of making its service more in tune with the habits of its readers. Upon first glance, it appears to have been successful.

Pocket 5.0 starts with a slight change to overall user interface. Reading specific articles will be similar, but the main page design is somewhat lighter and now includes the "Hamburger" design patterns that hide the navigation draw to the left. Tapping on the Pocket logo in the top right corner reveals places that users can go to browse according to favorites, tags, archives, or specific content types like articles and videos. Above the list of the most recently saved articles is a large image of featured content pushed to the top of the reading list.

The hidden menu is also where users all go to access Highlights, a new feature that chooses which content someone is likely to read. The Highlights feature is very impressive because it shows Best of, items most likely to interest you; Trending items, the most popular articles and videos saved to Pocket; Long Reads, which highlights items that suit a plane ride or morning commute; and Quick Reads for when someone wants short items.

Highlights benefits from usage patterns in order to determine what to push to the top of your reading list. For instance, I use Pocket for long-form tech articles, occasional music interviews, general news, and a lot of articles about college football and soccer. Because my bookmarks tend to skewer more towards items under my #football and #soccer tabs, Highlights will find the best of those articles to recommend. It does the same for videos, long form articles, and short items. Highlights also learns from the user over time and adapts to do a better job of recommendation, so it requires that a certain number of items be saved to Pocket before it starts working.

Pocket is also introducing Pocket Preferences as a way to make the intelligence gained by activity useful in other apps. By linking a Pocket account to apps like Zite or websites users frequent, Zite will be able to better recommend items to read in its mobile apps. That makes Pocket become a two-way street for improving reading.

Download Pocket 5.0 for Android

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About the author

Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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