Pocket to add Amazon Alexa skill following app redesign

Andy Boxall

In App Business. October 12, 2018

Pocket, an app for storing web content to read and view later, has had a redesign and announced an Amazon Alexa skill will come soon. Pocket already uses an Amazon talent, as it’s the company’s Polly text-to-speech system it uses to verbalise written content.

When it arrives, the Skill will allow Pocket users to access all stored content through the smart speaker. A simple, “Tell Pocket to get my articles,” command is all that’s needed to have Alexa read content back in the home.

Pocket’s redesign includes a podcast-like control system for playback, complete with the ability to skip, pause, and adjust the speed. Pocket offers both male and female voices, but does not enable offline use. Articles are buffered, but for continuous listening a data connection is required.

The reading aspect hasn’t been ignored, with an updated user interface, new typography for easier reading, plus a night mode for a more comfortable lowlight reading experience.

In an interview with The Verge, Pocket CEO Nate Weiner said:

“Text reading is not going away. But as we get busier and busier, and there’s more and more content, one of the biggest things you hear is, ‘I saved too much for Pocket.’ We’re hoping to open up and free that content so you can consume — it in ways you haven’t been able to before.”

The app is available for iOS and Android, and the update should be live now.