Talking tech since 2003

Reading/bookmarking tool Pocket has updated its iOS app for the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 7. The app, which works on iPhones and iPod touches as well as iPads, brings some design tweaks that fit more into Apple’s preferred design language for iOS 7. There are a few other features as well, including Instant Sync, which is probably the most important feature in the update.

pocket-ios-7For those who aren’t familiar with Pocket, the best way to describe it is by invoking the product’s former name. Pocket is a “read it later” type service that was actually called Read It Later before changing its name in 2012. The service lets you bookmark a piece of content so that you can view it later, even if you’re offline. The new name is a better fit, since Pocket now works not only with articles but videos and images, as well.

The first thing you’ll notice about Pocket for iOS 7 is that the icon has changed a bit to match the iOS 7 style. That look follows you into the app, as well, but only to a point. The team at Pocket felt it was important to follow Apple’s lead in the looks department while also maintaining the familiar and unique visual design that Pocket has had for a while. So while Pocket doesn’t look like an core iOS 7 app, it blends in.

Speed improvements have come to the app, which will be welcome news for anyone who has compiled a large list of saved content. You’ll also notice some layout changes when reading articles and Pocket has added a fullscreen view that hides the toolbar while you’re reading content. It’s a lot like what Chrome for iOS does and bringing the toolbar back works in a similar fashion — you can simply scroll up toward the top of the screen to force the toolbar to show again. You can also tap the screen to bring the toolbar back.

And for those who aren’t fans of the way Pocket justifies text, hyphenation makes its debut in Pocket’s iOS 7 update. Text in Pocket is now formatted more like a newspaper and, trust me, it’s a lot prettier that way.

But the real killer feature in the Pocket for iOS 7 update is one made possible by iOS 7’s background notifications. When saving a new item into Pocket, that item will automatically sync with your iOS 7-powered device in the background so that you have that content stored and ready to go. This feature, called Instant Sync, ensures that you never have to launch Pocket in order to sync up with content you’ve added from other devices. At this point, Instant Sync only works with devices that are running iOS 7, but it’s not unreasonable to believe it’ll show up on other platforms in the future.

If you’re interested in downloading the latest Pocket update, officially known as Pocket 4.6, you can do so from the App Store.

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