Mozilla has refreshed its Pocket app and added an interesting new feature.
“Listen” will read saved articles aloud with support from Amazon Polly.
The app’s reading interface has also undergone a redesign, and there’s a new night mode.
Mozilla has updated its Pocket app, refreshing the interface and adding what could become a significant new feature. Mozilla discussed the changes in a blog post yesterday, and they’re rolling out now.
Pocket lets you save web pages to read at a later date or when you don’t have internet access. It’s especially useful when you’re traveling or particularly busy, providing a simple way to save articles you might otherwise forget.
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With the new version (7.0), Mozilla has added ‘Listen,’ a feature you can use to have an article’s text read aloud. This isn’t just to assist the visually impaired — though it may help those users — but to offer a new way to access information.
It’s powered by Amazon’s text-to-speech service, Polly, and essentially turns Pocket into a podcast app. Just tap on the Listen icon in the top left corner of an article and Pocket will read out the content — perfect for when you’re walking somewhere or cooking.
As with any voice-to-speech service, I suspect this may occasionally misread something or sound a little off, but the idea itself is clever. It’s difficult to read on your phone while walking, though many people try to. Listen could certainly help (who knows what this means for advertising, though — you won’t see any banner ads in an audio-only version).
Mozilla has given Pocket a re-design too, adding new fonts, a new article view, and a more comprehensive dark mode for night-time browsing. If you’re interested, pick up the free app via the link below.