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Pocket for iOS now offers handy text-to-speech feature

Commenting on its own read-it-later app, Pocket says, “We don’t always have the opportunity to sit down and read the amazing content we save to Pocket every day.”

Too darn right – at the end of last year I received an email from team Pocket telling me I’d made it as one of the app’s “top five percent of readers” for 2014. In truth, however, I was really only in the top five percent of savers, not readers, as my enthusiasm for collecting articles was sadly not quite matched by my ability to actually take the time to sit down and read them.

To this day, my Pocket library of saved articles continues to grow, and though I do actually get to read some of them from time to time, I clearly have no realistic hope of ever getting through everything.

If that sounds anything like you, a new feature rolled out for iOS this week may be of interest, and could help us to work our way through a little more of our saved content.

‘Listen’

Called Listen, the text-to-speech feature could come in handy if you’re out jogging, driving some place, or simply want to lie down and give your eyes a break.

Listen has actually been available to Android users of Pocket for several years now, so it’s great to see it finally make it to iOS. For sure, iPhone users intent on listening to their saved articles could always highlight text and hit ‘speak’, but a proper feature built into the app is definitely the way to go.

pocket listen

You can start listening from any point in an article, and skip paragraphs or jump back by tapping the relevant buttons at the bottom of the display. There are seven speeds to choose from, with speeds 2 and 3 sounding most natural. Speed 1 makes the female narrator sound a little spaced out, while 7 has her burning through the text with such fanaticism that your mobile device may automatically shut itself down for fear of spontaneously combusting.

To access the new feature, tap on the three dots bottom right, and then tap on Listen.

 [Pocket for iOS on iTunes