Pocket Stories February 27

Pocket, the popular read-it-later bookmarking service, has been acquired by Firefox developer Mozilla, according to Recode. Pocket has client apps on the iPhone, iPad, and even the Mac including both a browser extension and dedicated reader app.

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Pocket Stories September 16, 2015

We’ve already rounded up several apps this week that have been updated with iOS 9 support and that rollout continues tonight to a pair of popular apps. This evening, both Pocket and Hulu for iOS have been updated with support for the latest version of Apple’s operating system. Pocket has been updated to version 6.0.1, while Hulu has been updated to 4.6.1.

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Pocket Stories August 26, 2015

Pocket 6.0 rolls out for iPhone & iPad with new Recommendation feature

Pocket is one of the most popular read-it-later apps available on iOS, and the service is about to get better (or perhaps worse depending on your viewpoint), with the public launch of recommendations. The feature has been tested in beta for some time, and is now officially out in the wild and will be available to users on iOS, Android and on the web. Pocket describes it as “high-quality content without the noise”.

Recommendations takes the absolute best content being saved across Pocket and tailors it to your own saving and reading habits. The result is a feed that’s completely unique and personalized to you, and is filled with the most interesting articles and videos you might have missed otherwise.

Instead of being a collation of the most viewed web pages from the web, recommendations are based on how popular stories are with people with your interests. Since they’re already curated by humans, the company hopes that helps tune out the noise. For instance, if you happen to save a lot of technology articles to read later in Pocket, you’ll be served up tech-based recommendations. What’s more, if you find a recommendation you don’t like, just press the ‘X’ and remove it from your feed.

Recommendations are currently available in English only currently, but the company states that it is working on a wider roll out in more languages. You can download Pocket 6.0 for iPhone and iPad from the App Store for free.

Pocket Stories July 17, 2015

Pocket for iOS adds the ability to listen to articles with new text-to-speech feature

Pocket, the popular app that allows users to save articles and read them later, has received an update that adds another way to consume saved articles. Announced in a blog post, Pocket for iOS now supports Listen, the company’s popular text-to-speech feature that was previously available only on Android.

Listen is a way for users to consume their news hands-free. The feature offers the ability to start listening from anywhere in the article, skip portions you aren’t interested in, and adjust the reading speed to be either faster or slower. Perhaps most notably, Listen is available in all languages.

Today, we’re excited to bring Listen, our Text-to-Speech feature, to iOS. It’s the hands-free way of returning to everything you’ve saved in Pocket. You can start listening from anywhere in the article, skip paragraphs with ease, and adjust the reading speed for when you want to fly through an article or let it slowly soak in. Plus, it has automatic language detection, making Listen available in all languages.

To access Listen, simply open up an article, tap the three dots in the lower right corner, and choose the Listen option. Download the latest version of Pocket for iOS from the App Store now.

Pocket Stories November 26, 2014

Predictions that larger-screened iPhones would cannibalise iPad usage look to be confirmed by some stats from the Pocket app that allows you to save webpages, videos and other content for reading later.

Pocket reported in a blog post today that while 55% of owners of the iPhone 5s viewed content on their phone rather than iPad, the number leapt to 72% for the iPhone 6 and 80% for the iPhone 6 Plus …

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Pocket Stories January 15, 2014

Review: Outread helps you get through your reading list even faster using a unique text highlighting system

Outread is a new speed reader app for the iPhone that helps you read faster by highlighting short sections of text. Focusing on the highlighted section helps you efficiently and quickly move through the text. This differs from most speed reader apps in that they use a technique called Rapid Serial Visual Presentation, which presents one word at a time.

Both of these speed reading techniques force the reader to stop reading out loud inside their head (subvocalization), which is what slows us down when we are reading. Generally a reader’s average reading speed is two hundred words per minute, but Outread supports reading speeds up to one thousand words per minute and a marker size of one hundred characters.

Under the app’s settings, you can adjust the Reading Speed (how many words go by per minute), Marker Size (how many characters are highlighted), and the size of the text. You can also enable a dark theme and see a preview of the different fonts that are available. The color of the highlighter is not customizable. Because of this, I found that it took me a while to find the highlighter when using the app’s dark theme.

Outread also has a feature that allows you to import text or URL’s from your clipboard. While it doesn’t automatically detect the clipboard’s contents when you launch the app, the function is only a tap away.

You are also able to install a “Read In Outread” bookmark which will save articles from Safari to the app’s reading list. When you save the articles to Outread, it downloads them for offline viewing so you can read them without an internet connection, which is perfect for use while traveling. If you use Pocket, Readability, or have an Instapaper subscription you are able to sign into these accounts in Outread and see your offline lists.

Outread does not support importing Microsoft Word documents, Pages files, or PDF files, which is inconvenient when it comes to reading papers and articles for school. Hopefully this functionality will be added in a future update. For now, copying the text from those documents and importing it via the clipboard is a helpful workaround.

I have been using Outread for reading the news and articles for school. Compared to other speed reader apps that use rapid serial visualization presentation, I find that it takes a bit of getting used to the animation when it scrolls down the page. If you want to try an app that can help you get through your reading list much faster, I recommend giving it a try. Outread is available in the App Store for $2.99.

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