Pocket for Android review: Best bookmark manager for Android

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The Good Pocket has a sleek design, offline caching, and unparalleled compatibility across platforms and with other third-party apps.

The Bad There's no way to reorder items in your Pocket list.

The Bottom Line Better than Instapaper and other competitors, Pocket is the app to beat when it comes to bookmarking and managing links.


9.7 Overall
  • Setup 10
  • Features 9
  • Interface 10
  • Performance 10

Editors' note: This review was updated November 21, 2013, to cover features added in the latest version.

Formerly known as Read It Later, Pocket is a short-term bookmarking app that syncs across all of your devices. With it, you can put lengthy articles or videos away and queue them up for reading and watching later, no matter where you are. We tend to use it on our commutes, because you can access most of your saved items without an Internet connection. With Pocket, the transition between different devices is seamless, which is why it's one of our favorite productivity apps on the market.

Once you've signed up for a required Pocket account, saving items to your list is simple. Whether you're reading an article in a browser or watching a video in the YouTube app, just hit menu and use Android's share function to save the page to Pocket. Once items are saved, you can access them at any time from your Pocket list. They are even automatically cached for offline access (videos excluded). From the Settings menu, you can choose to cache either full Web pages or stripped-down versions, which show only words, images, captions, and video links from an article. We prefer letting Pocket choose which version to save, based on the type of content, since the app usually chooses the best view possible. It's these types of thoughtful options that make Pocket such an incredibly convenient app to have.

Pocket 5.0
Highlights groups your articles into topical categories to make it easier to find something to read or watch. Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

In the latest version of the app, released in November 2013, Pocket got a significant makeover. Before, everything you saved showed up as one big list in the app. Now, the app does it best to sort everything you saved into categories called Highlights, so it's easier to find something to read or watch. To get to your Highlights, swipe right in the app to open the menu bar.

There are a few default categories, including Long Reads and Quick Reads, which sort articles by length. That makes it really easy to find something to read based on how much time you have or what you're in the mood for. A short read might be just right for a quick break at work, while you save your long-form articles for Sunday mornings.

Next, Pocket looks at the topics of articles you save most often, and creates categories based off that information. For example, Sarah's account has a category for Apple, because she tends to save a lot of articles about Apple news and products. Likewise, if you save a lot of articles from a particular Web site or author, that might show up as a category as well.

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