Pocket is my preferred and recommended “read it later” app, and its excellent read-aloud functionality has been updated on Android to support continuous reading. Which means that the app can now continuously read articles out loud to you, one after the other.
“Listen/Text-to-Speech is getting a major upgrade,” the Pocket blog explains. “For those who haven’t discovered Listen yet, it lets you come back to the stories you’ve saved by having Pocket read them aloud to you, so you can keep your hands free for other tasks, like going for a run, driving into work, or making dinner.”
Basic read-aloud functionality has been available in Pocket on Android and iOS for some time. But it’s been pretty limited. From within an article view, you can enable “Listen/(TTS)” from the menu, and the app will read that article aloud. On the iPhone, this feature as only offered a single (female) voice, though you can alter the playback speed. And basic controls.
But that’s changed in the new version of the app on Android. Now, Listen is a global option that can be enabled from the My List view, which is where you see your saved articles. And if you toggle this on, it will play back all of your saved articles, back to back.
Even better, there are now numerous options to set, including the language, the voice (with multiple male and female choices, courtesy of Android), plus the pitch and speed. And the playback controls offer more choices, too, and are always available on-screen until you turn off this functionality.
There’s no word in the post about iOS support, but I assume this is coming soon.
Also coming soon to Android is Highlights, a feature that lets you highlight meaningful passages in saved articles so that you can view them again later or share them with others. If you’re on the beta version of Pocket for Android, you can preview this feature now. (You need to join the beta first.)
I use Pocket every day. And this update makes the app even more valuable, since I can listen to saved articles like podcasts or audiobooks. I can even stream them to my Google Home or other Chromecast-based speakers.