Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pocket/Read It Later

The app I use by far the most on my phone, Read It Later, has changed their name. I don't love the name change. Pocket is okay, but Read It Later was wonderfully self-descriptive, and well-established.

I am completely indifferent to the snazzy visual stuff they have on their web view. I am text-oriented, and I use it mostly on my phone. The phone app does look a bit nicer, but only trivially so. I am very happy with the long-overdue near-full-screen mode[1] (all apps for which screen space is at a premium should have this). But I still have two ideas for improvement. One is a quibble, one is a legitimate refinement.
  1. First the quibble. I don't want to have to long-press the screen to turn on full screen mode, for each and every article. I want "default to full screen mode" to be a Setting. (Also, I bet a lot of users will never discover the ability to toggle this, since it is so hidden.)
  2. Now the enhancement. Along with point #1, the perfect implementation would be to automagically display the bottom toolbar when you scroll to the end of the article. So that the checkmark is right there, for me to click "done". They already do this at the top of the article, where you have buttons to toggle between offline text view and full web view.
[1] I say "near" full-screen because the Android notification bar is not hidden, like it is on Kindle and some other apps. I don't see this as a big deal, it's important and not too many pixels. Being able to hide the native Pocket function bar was the key thing.

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