The popular and free service Pocket does not have an official app for Windows or Windows Phone. Luckily, there is something better called Poki, which hooks into your Pocket account.
Poki has been on Windows Phone for some time, winning our praise for its minimalist and stunning design. As previously announced, today, that app is now a universal Windows app, and it is available for Windows 8.1 users.
We had an early look at the read-it-later app and have come away impressed as you can see in our hands-on video.
For those not familiar with Pocket, the service works much like Microsoft's Reading List but is platform agnostic. Because of this, it is a popular tool for those on Android or iOS. Seeing as not every Windows 8.1 user own a Windows Phone, having an exquisite app to handle the service natively is a win-win for Microsoft fans.
Pocket works through web browser extensions or by manually copying and pasting the website URL. The article is then saved, often stripped of extraneous elements for later reading. Think of it as a bookmarking service but for specific articles instead of general websites.
Poki for Windows 8.1
Here is what Poki for Windows 8.1 (and Windows Phone) can do for users:
- Save online articles that you want to read and view later
- Search by name, URL and tags. Even when offline
- Collect achievements by being an avid reader
- 4 app themes (light, gray, dark, black) and 5 reading themes
- Listen to articles (even in the background) with automatic language detection
- Automatically syncs with Pocket when closed
- Update (favorite, archive, delete, add) items even when offlined
The new app for Windows 8.1 should look very familiar to those who use the Windows Phone version. For new users, they will be quickly impressed with the clean, elegant design and robust functionality. Changing text size, spacing, bold, background and reading themes, and the ability to read back articles are all outstanding features. Likewise, users can quickly share articles and favorite items.
Poki for Windows 8.1 also makes great use of the side space leftover from the vertical reading list. Here, the app will give a panoramic layout of various articles with images as the eye-candy to draw you into items you may have missed.
Poki is free to use as is Pocket, making it an excellent choice for those looking for an offline reading app. However, there is a 'Poki Premium' version, offered through an in-app purchase, which offers the following extra features
- Background synchronization
- Update items when offline
- Multi-editing of items
- 4 themes
The cost of the license varies depending on how much coverage you want:
- $4.99 for Universal (Windows Phone and Windows)
- $2.99 for Windows Phone
- $2.99 for Windows
Since Poki is now listed as a 'buy once, run anywhere' application, you can save a buck by purchasing the universal license for your phone and PC.
Overall, Poki is another great example of excellent UI design, minimalist esthetics, and pronounced functionality. We are certainly glad it finally has made the jump to Windows and look forward to using it on our downtime.
Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.
Universal apps... Universal apps everywhere
Haha I was just thinking this. Eventually if you don't have a universal app you will be wasting resources while competitors thrive. I know this isn't a universal app, but I use Uber frequently because Lyft won't let me use their service. With an app on Android, Windows and iOS, shouldn't Uber have a larger potential market? Maybe Lyft was already established enough to resist that being an issue, but I'm curious if Uber does better based on that alone. If that does happen, then Lyft will have to make an app or lose market share. With Windows 10, Uber can help you plan your trip at home and then pick up from the car or something... Who knows. I hope developers think big on cloud saves and connecting to other devices based on your roaming account. Am I rambling again?
The link to the windows app store says that the app is no longer available.
Just wait a bit, it's not available for everyone yet!
When you say "universal app", is it really an app built from a single code base available for phone and Windows? Or does it just mean they made a phone and windows app? And what is the difference between this kind of "universal" app and a Windows 10 "universal" app?
They share upwards of 90% of the same code and are linked in the Store for in-app purchases. Windows 10's share code will be even higher with more options, including HoloLens and Xbox apps.
This app in particular built from single code base. In 8.1 you can build two types of Universal Apps - a) apps from single code base compiled to both stores, b) two apps connected via manifest. First option is straightforward - while you get two separate packages (appx), apps are identical on both devices, notifications can sync, settings can sync, and it's buy once, use everywhere etc. (can, because dev obviously needs to use those features). Second option is connecting your apps. It's mostly used to connect existing Phone and PC apps - used in case of for example MSN apps. It allows developer to make app buy once and use everywhere, and sync in-app purchases as well, and couple other features, but apps at the core are different. In 10, Universal Apps by default (you can still use 8.1 methods) are single code base and single app package, and you only do contional things per device, mainly layout but also some less than 1% of unique features (you can for example have your phone number in app info and implement calling on devices with such capability but don't want app to crash on devices without it so you make if supported check). When you are done with coding the app you select which devices group you want to publish to, app is compiled to single package and user downloads the same app on every device - even if app has features the device doesn't support (calling on PC for example).
How to include splitsview in Windows 8.1 Universal applcation in VS2013 since this app has included it.
This app doesn't use SplitView control. Developer simply created his own control that somehow resembles SplitView (it's a vertical list of icons, nothing more than that; SplitView is more complex as it also encompasses content on the right side inside the control).
This developer is so gentle ... and so retro. Still developing for Windows 8.1.
I got it to download
Is there an option to open articles directly in the browser? I save a lot of technical articles and the in-app reading mode is pretty useless for those types of articles. I would like to snap Poki to the left and have the browser snapped to the right.
Not really, no. The fastest way to get there is right-click (or long-press with touch) the item and click on the globe icon.
Latermark for Pocket (also a Pocket client) does that. Most features Poki has are in Latermark too and it is a universal app for Windows and Windows Phone too, actually Windows version was first ;) (Disclaimer: I am the developer of Latermark ;)
I do use Latermark but it needs some more polish. It can open up saved articles directly in the browser but it opens 50/50 view instead of 25/75. Look at Nextgen Reader, it does this correctly. Also when I click the article and it opens up in the browser, the controls underneath the article are hidden, so I have to do a few random clicks so I can mark the article as read. Not really related to functionality, Poki is a much more attractive app, Latermark needs to invest a little more in design.
Actually IE should open in 75% vs 25% Latermark, just checked. Which version do you have? (maybe better to move this to email, firstname.lastname@example.org - thanks!). Thanks for the feedback already!
hi, if still interested maybe check out Latermark v4.0 (Windows and not phone only yet). Both points you mentioned should be improved together with redesign and other fixes.
I have Poki Premium for WP (not that I use it much...) and I wonder how much would I have to pay for desktop version. I guess full price.
"This app will not work on your device" :(((
- Intel i5, 8 gigs of RAM, Windows 10 10128 x64.
Hi. Try to download it with the old store and not the Beta store!
Awesome! Been waiting for this ... I use Pocket a lot
Wait! I have to pay so that it will sync between phone and tablet? Other than the fact that Msft's Reading app isn't available to work on the desktop browser, I don't see the attraction of this. I'm from Missouri Show me! Convince me!
I use reading list pretty regularly. Is there something I'm missing by not using pocket or instapaper?
It's FREE, you only need to buy it if you want background synching, change themes, update offline, or multi-edit, or G*d forbid just support a WinDev...
i bought this app because I am a day one pocket user, support the devs and when I moved to windows Phone it was the best looking client for pocket. its so well done, both in windows and windows phone.
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