Being able to read my saved Web pages offline has been invaluable, especially since I’ve suspended my iPad data plan. If my tablet’s 3G connection ever becomes reliable, perhaps I’ll reactivate, but for now I’m saving that $15 a month. My Pocket app has really come through in the clutch when I’ve been stuck in boring places with nothing good to read and no Internet connection. Yes, my cell phone data connection is horrible, too.
Previously called Read It Later, Pocket has been on my iPad for a while, but I never used it much since Safari’s Reading List popped up in my toolbar. What I didn’t learn till after I shut down my data plan was that the reading list isn’t available offline. Pocket is the perfect workaround.
My only criticism is that it’s a pain installing Pocket’s “bookmarklet” into iPad’s Safari browser. As you’ll see in the screen shots below, Safari’s bookmark dropdown menu covers up Pocket’s installation directions. This might not be an issue with other iPad browsers, but Safari is the one I use most often. I’ve included a screen shot of the unobscured directions. By contrast, installing the bookmark into your laptop or desktop browser is a snap.
Once installed in your browsers, the app shines. Click on the “Save to Pocket” icon on your iPad, laptop or desktop and start saving your pages. Pocket boasts integration with more than 300 user-created apps, including two of my favorites, Flipboard and Twitter. One important note: You can’t view your Favorites list offline. Keep stuff you want to read offline in the Home queue.