For one moment I thought Pocket was my answer to saved pages on Opera Mini browser on my Android phone. Anything to save data right? I’ll come back to that issue later. For now, let me just share what I belatedly discovered as a great way to save web pages to read later.
By belatedly, I mean Pocket has being around for since 2007 on Firefox browser though under a different name. The extension which started out as ‘Read it later‘, was crested by Nate Weiner.
I guess even Weiner was surprised by how much the extension became popular in a short time. Five years later, after millions of people started using the extension on their computers, He had managed to source for close to $10 million to upgrade the product.
As ‘Read it later’, the extension was available in both free and paid version. It was later made almost wholly free after the name change to Pocket. For now though, there is a paid version known as Pocket Premium. That is for those who want extra services like more storage space and a more powerful search tools.
For casual Internet users like me, the free version of Pocket is all you need.
What does Pocket do?
Basically Pocket works like bookmarking a page to view later. The major difference between Pocket and bookmarks is that Pocket gives you a clutter-free version of the page when you access your saved pages through Pocket.
That is the one way Pocket saves on Data while opening your saved page. All the ads, graphics and videos not related to what you saved are eliminated.
However, here is where pocket is a disappointment for me; you have to be online before you can access you saved pages. But all the reviews of pocket would gleefully tell you it is one way of reading saved pages offline, that is, without internet connection.
Take it from me, you need to be connected to read your saved pages in Pocket.
How it works
First of all you need to have a Pocket account. So you must sign into Pocket through their official website or you can do it through your browser account. That is, assuming you already have a Firefox or Google Chrome account, you can use those details to register on Pocket.
Since Mozilla made Pocket an integral part of Firefox, the Pocket icon is now located beside the search bar of the browser. For other browsers though, you must install Pocket extension the way you install other add-ons. It is very easy.
The official pocket website would show you how to do it if you are a bit confused about how to search for and install Pocket extension on your preferred browser.
After signing in to Pocket, all you need to do to save an item to pocket is click the icon. It doesn’t ask unnecessary questions like, ‘Are you sure you want to save this item?‘ It would just save the item automatically.
To view you saved items later, just open the Pocket website (at this point it is wise to bookmark Pocket website if you intend to use it a lot) and sign in to your account. Than click on ‘My List‘ to see all your saved items.
Clicking on any one would bring up a minimalist version of what you had saved earlier.
As a new user of Pocket, I guess it should be normal for you to explore your Pocket page and get acquainted with the features and how to tweak the page to your taste.
Another good thing about Pocket is your can view your pages across all kinds of devices. So if you saved a page on your computer, you can view the pages on your smartphone or tablet while commuting to work or having a quiet drink somewhere.
But first you have to download and install the app that is compatible with your device. That goes without saying I guess.
If you are still skeptical about using Pocket, how about this little tidbit: as of last year, 17 million people were already using the extension. And between them, they had saved over a billion pages. As you can see, Pocket must be doing something very awesome.
So would you use Pocket instead of bookmarking your pages? I think I would start using it. For the simple reason that some pages have a way of always refreshing themselves intermittently, depleting my scarce data in the process.
Image credit: lifehacker.com; austin cyril (screen shots)