The audiobook is genius way to get your reading fix, especially for those too busy or unable to pick up a paperback or e-reader. The stories are read in a way that is engaging and entertaining. Even though it’s not quite the same as reading it yourself, it’s pretty close.
Unfortunately, most articles and breaking information are presented in a text format without a similar audio option. For those that wish there was a way to hear the latest news pieces and articles, Pocket is here to grant that very wish.
The company has announced a brand new feature that they call “listen,” which is part of the Pocket for Android update version 4.2. The “listen” feature allows users to define the speed and style of the speaking voice, and then Pocket will read text to you accordingly.
What is Pocket for Android exactly? For those that don’t know, it’s an article-saving app that competes with similar programs like Instapaper.
The idea of being able to hear your favorite articles read to you is without a doubt the big draw in this update, but it’s not the only change. Other changes include improved full-screen animation in the reader and other minor UI changes.
Interestingly enough, the listen feature is an Android exclusive at the moment. Apple’s iOS doesn’t feature a text-to-speech API, which means that Pocket can’t successfully bring the feature to the iPhone and iPad. This is great news for Android fans, though.
The new update is available now through Google Play.
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If you can get past the semi-robotic voice and the frequent mispronunciations, it’s actually a pretty nifty feature. I listened to two articles on the way home, and while it clearly no match for a pre-recorded audio book, it’s another way to get your news during your commute.