Lastly, Pocket creates categories based on the tags you've used to organize your saved items. We were hoping that as soon as we saved an item and gave it a new tag, the app would instantly create a new category, but it doesn't. Pocket says that you need to save many items with the same tag to get it to create a new category, and even then, you'll only see the top articles with that tag in that particular category. That's disappointing, because we want to be able to save multiple articles with the same tag and have the app group all of them together.
When you first open the app, you'll see a carousel of top stories from each of your categories at the top, followed by your list of bookmarked items. You can sort your entire list by content type (text, video, or image) and edit items in bulk. Also, the search bar makes it easy to find items by tag, title, or even URL. So, even with hundreds of items saved to your Pocket, it's fairly easy to go back and find anything you're looking for.
After you finish viewing an item and check it off, it is automatically moved to an archive, where you can re-access it later. That removes it from your main list. One thing you can't do with Pocket, though, is reorder the items in your list. This isn't a huge deal since Highlights helps compartmentalize items for you and the search function works so well, but it would've been a nice function to have.
One of Pocket's most important capabilities is sharing. Much improved in recent versions, the app gives users the ability to email links to friends without having to leave the app. The Send to Friend feature lives in the Share menu, and it lets you include a comment along with your link. From an article, you can even highlight a specific passage and e-mail the quoted text along with your link. And when you share with existing Pocket users, they get notifications directly in their in-app Inbox.
Perhaps what we love most about Pocket is its open API, which has made it possible for a host of other mobile and desktop applications to integrate its services. This means you can save links to Pocket directly from your favorite Twitter client, YouTube, Yelp, Google Reader, and so on. And the list of partners is growing. You can also share any item from Pocket to your device's other applications just the same. This level of compatibility, along with the app's design and impressive features, make Pocket the clear choice over competitors, such as Instapaper. (Check out our post where we compare the two.)
Likewise, Pocket boasts support for a number of other services for your convenience. For instance, if you save a YouTube video to your list, you can watch it right within the Pocket app, thanks to the YouTube API. Also, if you save content directly from Twitter to your list, the Pocket app lets you see the original tweet from which it was saved. Even more, you can retweet, favorite, and reply without having to jump to your Twitter client.
Overall, we can't recommend Pocket highly enough. Because it's so convenient to pull up on any device and it seamlessly integrates with so many different applications, we find ourselves using it on a daily basis. Plus, its snazzy design and extra details like caching for offline access, saving to SD card, and TTS support make it a tough app to beat.