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Pocket Plans to Turn Your Never-Ending News Reading List Into a Podcast

October 11, 2018, 1:00 PM UTC

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot of news going on right now. No one can stay on top of absolutely all of it, but all of us have our technological (and coping) mechanisms to keep track of much of it.

Pocket, previously known as Read It Later, is a popular service for saving news articles, briefs and long-reads alike, to one’s smartphone, tablet, desktop, or even Internet browser for online and offline reading. As of this week, the service is getting a long-awaited refresh as well as a new voice, which will help you tackle all of that news by simply reading it to you while on-the-go.

Aesthetically, Pocket says it has refreshed the layout to make it less cluttered and more tuned to reader’s interests based on what they’ve saved. free environment, built with care so you can really read. This includes the introduction of dark and sepia themes as well as updated fonts to make reading more comfortable on the user’s eyes.

For mobile users on iOS and Android, Pocket added a “a more human sounding voice” with the ability to play through a reading list, hands-free. Users can access the feature by tapping the new listen icon in the top left corner.

Describing the new vocal reading list style as “your own personal podcast,” Pocket CEO Nate Weiner explained more in a blog post on Thursday about why adding a oratory feature was the next step for a reading app to take.

“Our lives don’t always have a quiet moment with a coffee cup in hand with Pocket in the other. We have work to do, kids to take care of, school to attend,” wrote Weiner. “Our new listen feature frees the content you’ve saved to fit into your busy life. It enables you to absorb articles whenever and wherever, whether you are driving, or walking, working out, cooking, or on the train.”


Launched in 2007, approximately 46 million accounts have been created on Pocket, with an average of more than two million pieces of content saved to the service daily. Pocket says users spend an average of 16 minutes reading on the app each day.

Following a previous flirtation with now-beleaguered notetaking app Evernote, Pocket was acquired by Mozilla in February 2017. Financial terms of the merger were not disclosed. The Pocket workforce was a team of 26 before the Mozilla acquisition, and has nearly doubled since to 44. They are expecting to be at 55 by the end of the year.

Pocket 7.0 is available for iOS, Android, and the Web now.