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Pocket: my favorite offline/read it later app

Since moving to New York earlier this year I've been exposed to "problems" I didn't know existed while living in California. One is how to pass time in the cold dark place known as the subway. A place devoid of internet connectivity.

Common subway pastimes include reading eBooks, real books, offline content, playing games, or listening to podcasts/music. I prefer reading - either an eBook or articles from the web.

Since I don't have connectivity on the subway, I read articles that I've saved for offline reading. My favorite app for offline content is Pocket (iOS, Android). Pocket is an app where you can save articles, videos, and other web content for consumption later. Articles in Pocket are saved in a "minimalist" format that preserves text and images, but gets rids of all the unnecessary junk that surrounds a typical web article (banners, external links, etc.). The latest article I saved is "President Obama and Bill Simmons: The GQ Interview". Here it is on Pocket on my laptop:


Simple, clean, and easy-to-read.

I add content to Pocket in one of two ways. One method is the Save to Pocket chrome extension. This adds a small button to Chrome. Clicking this button anytime I'm viewing an article I'd like to read later will add it to Pocket. I'll sometimes also go to getpocket.com and manually add the article by clicking the + icon and pasting in the URL.

The second method was what sparked the idea for this post. It's such a delightful experience that I wanted to write about it. One of the reasons I love Twitter is it helps me discover great articles to read. Often when I'm scanning my feed I don't have time to open every article and read it. I therefore save it to Pocket. This is seamless on iOS. I long press the link and this pops up:

I tap the Pocket icon and the article is saved. It takes seconds and doesn't interrupt my "Twitter flow". Twitter is all about efficiency. I'm trying to squeeze in as many 140 characters as I can in my ride up the elevator, or while waiting in line for coffee. This "long press then save to pocket" combination doesn't interrupt my flow. It actually seamlessly integrates with it.

Pro iOS tip: The different "actions" that appear in the iOS menu after you long-press a link can be rearranged. Long-press any of the icons and they will begin to jiggle. Move them around to your satisfaction. I randomly discovered this and moved Pocket to the front of the list. No more scrolling to the right to get to it!