Because it is established, free and works on all platforms, Pocket is the most popular read-it-later bookmarking service today. They’ve got native apps on Android, iOS, OS X, web browsers, and starting today: Windows and ChromeOS! Check out our hands-on impressions of it after the jump.
The first thing you will notice when you launch Pocket for Windows is just how similar it looks to the web app on getpocket.com. From the way articles are listed, to how they are displayed – everything is exactly the same as the web app. Since articles are downloaded to the hard drive for reading offline, loading them is a noticeably faster experience. Other than that, though, it is a bit of a disappointment in that it feels more like a wrapper around the web app, rather than a desktop experience built from the ground up for Windows, which is what we all would’ve liked.
My disappointment stems from comparing it to the much more mature Mac app, which looks like a real native app on OS X.
Quite like the web app, there is no way to go directly to the original link of the saved article. Even if you have a fast Internet connection at the moment when you’re using the Pocket app, you still get taken to the ‘distraction’ free Article View that, at times, can remove enjoyable distractions like, for example, the actual article you want to read. It is somewhat rare, but it does happen and when it does, it causes undue frustration. Open ‘Article View’ when I am offline, and ‘Web View’ when I am online.
Of course, this is the first version of the app for Windows, so Pocket might actually be aware of how weak it is compared to the OS X app. Hopefully, they will dedicate more people to get it to work and look like a first-class desktop app.
It is certainly better than having no native app at all. Pocket for Windows is still excellent, because this way you can read articles offline! Previously you had to go to the web app and read there, and that, obviously, required internet access.
Pocket for Windows is based on Google Chrome Apps Platform, which means you need to install the latest version of Google Chrome to be able to use it. We only tested it on Windows due to the unavailability of a Chromebook, but it is safe to say that the ChromeOS version is exactly the same as the Windows one considering they are both built on top of Google Chrome.
It is available for free, of course. You can download it from the link below.
Be sure to let us know what you think of Pocket for Windows by leaving a comment in the comments section below.