Talking tech since 2003

Pocket has been a staple of my iPhone’s home screen for over a year now, and yesterday one of my favorite apps has gotten even better – with the newly released Pocket 5.0 with an all new user interface that looks and feels just at home on iOS as it does on Android. Though it looks great, Pocket’s updates are more than skin deep, as the company has streamlined and overhauled both navigation and search – but the most dramatic, and useful, change has to come from the new Highlights view.

Highlights, Pocket says, is intended to bring you easy and quick access to the best content saved on your list by splitting your saved stories between three categories – Trending, the most popular stores being stores across all of Pocket, Long Reads, and Quick Reads. The intention here is to allow you to get to appropriate content faster than ever before; for example, if you’ve got a long commute Pocket’s new Long Reads category would be the easy go to category of stories appropriate for that instance.


The best thing about Highlights, however, is its intelligence. It would be one thing if Pocket merely sorted your stories between just those three categories, however Highlights actually adapts to and learns from your stories and viewing habits, learning your favorite sites, preferred authors, and interests, creating new categories based on your personal taste. So if BestTechie is one of your favorite sites and you put our stories in your Pocket a lot, Pocket will eventually learn that and create a unique, dynamic “BestTechie” category with our content. Categories are differentiated with different colored badges stamped on your stories, making them easy to differentiate at a glance.

On top of all that, Pocket has announced Pocket Preferences, a way that third party apps can learn from your Pocket habits utilized by Highlights to influence their content. Zite, the popular digital magazine app that delivers stories based on your interests, will begin using Pocket Preferences starting today; more applications will launch soon.

If all of this sounds good to you, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the new application is available now for all users, giving everyone immediate access to the new Pocket UI. The bad news is that the good stuff – Pocket Highlights – wont be available to everyone and will experience a slow and deliberate rollout over the next couple of weeks. Ah, technology – forever breeding the impatient.

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