Pocket has, for a long time, been the best way to view long-form content on your smartphone or tablet. Though it did not pioneer the genre — and Instapaper has recently returned via Betaworks — Pocket took a cross-platform approach that synchronized text, photos and videos between iOS, Android and the web.
With Pocket 5.0, which is out right now for iPhone and iPad and will come to Android phones and tablets next week, the company has once again drastically improved the way people consume and digest web content.
The main tenet of this upgrade is Highlights, which scours your previous additions to determine great content from elsewhere that you’d like to read.
These take the form of “Best Of,” “Trending” and “Long Reads,” each with their own purpose. The first is a curated list of excellent content that have been chosen by the Pocket team; the second is a list of articles or videos most saved and shared among the Pocket community; and the third is the best long-form material, usually from well-known publications.
Though nobody is forced to use Highlights, it’s there waiting in the side panel for you, or someone, to take advantage of it. If not, Pocket will work exactly as before: save articles via the Chrome extension or manually through the app, and they will be formatted for simple, distraction-free viewing.
Another interesting new feature is Pocket Preferences, which has the startup partnering with other news companies like Zite to share data between the two apps.
When you connect your Pocket account to Zite through the app, it will begin using your favourite topics and preferences to make more accurate suggestions based on the Pocket articles you’ve previously saved. That is to say, this doesn’t affect Pocket, but rather the apps connected to Pocket. So Zite, when you next open it, will know your reading choices better than before and hopefully show you more relevant material.
Pocket 5.0 is available for iOS today, and will be coming to Android on November 20th. The Mac and Chrome versions will follow suit in the coming months.
Update: Pocket 5.0 is now available for Android, too. Get to downloading, readers!
[source]App Store[/source][via]Pocket Blog[/via]