Pocket, the popular read-it-later service, will now read your articles aloud, like a podcast
To convince people to use the new feature, Pocket has redesigned its app.
Pocket is the world’s most popular read-it-later service. Now, thanks to Amazon’s Polly tool, you can listen to those articles as if they were a podcast. Polly is a Text-to-Speech service that turns text into lifelike speech using advanced deep learning technology. In doing so, it synthesizes speech so that it sounds almost human.
As a Pocket post explains, with Polly integration each article now features granular controls like 1x speed, 15-second fast-forward, rewind, and skip ahead. You can also queue up multiple articles, so there’s always contend ready for you to enjoy.
A new, redesigned app
To convince people to use the new feature, Pocket has redesigned its app. At the top, you’ll see a prominent headphones icon both in your reading list and at the top of all articles. You can also listen to articles through Alexa-powered devices. A future update will take this further by adding support for Alexa Skills.
Pocket got its start way back in 2007. For many years, I used it faithfully on my iOS devices. When Apple added Reading List onto Safari a few years ago, I stopped using Pocket. Perhaps this new audio feature will make me reconsider.
In my limited tests, I found the voice feature to be soothing and relaxing. Yes, it still sounds like a robot or computer or whatever you’d like to call it and not a human, but I’m telling you, it’s getting damn close.
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