Pocket 5.0 is out featuring Highlights: your best and most relevant content

Pocket 5.0 for iOS (Navigation)

Pocket, the popular read-later service (formerly Read It Later), has undergone a major refresh bringing a few new headline features, including one which analyzes saved articles to surface your best and most relevant content. Available now in the App Store, the new Pocket 5.0 introduces a new sidebar panel navigation, a much better search, Pocket Preferences and more. The full breakdown follows below…

Pictured top of post, the souped up sidebar navigation lets you quickly jump to your List, Highlights, Tags, Favorites and Archive. This is where you’ll also filter your content regardless of where you’re in your list or access all content that’s been shared to your Pocket via a new Inbox feature.

Here’s the old (left) vs. new (right) app icon.

Pocket (app icon, small)Pocket 5.0 for iOS (app icon, small)

As for Highlights, the selection of previously-saved content Pocket thinks you might like comes split into four handy lists: Best Of, Trending, Long Reads and Quick Reads. The Best Of section surfaces the most impactful articles and videos in your list so it’s a nice place to re-discover viral articles and videos.

Pocket 5.0 for iOS (Highlights 001)
It’s easy to spot recommended Highlights, denoted by colorful badges.

Trending, on the other hand, singles out only the most popular items being saved in Pocket, giving you a good feel of the community and what Pocket users are sharing among themselves. Long Reads and Quick Reads are for when you have a lot of time on your hands or only a few minutes to spare, respectively.

Pocket 5.0 for iOS (Highlights 003)

The more you use Highlights, the better it gets, Pocket explains:

The more you use Pocket, the better Highlights can learn and adapt. The Highlights section also offers dynamic categories that are regularly updated to match your favorite sites, authors, and interests, providing you with new ways to discover the saved content you care about most.

All of the aforementioned improvements will be making their way to the Pocket web, packaged and Mac apps “in the coming months,” the company promised in a blog post.

Pocket 5.0 for iOS (Highlights 002)

Note that Highlights is a staggered release so expect to start seeing it appear over the coming weeks in your list and inside the Highlights section.

Pocket says folks have saved 800+ million items to Pocket thus far, with an additional 1.5 million being saved every day from thousands of apps, blogs and websites.

Last but not least, Pocket Preferences is an awesome new feature for third-party apps like Zite, Hack Later and more.

Not only is Pocket getting smarter, we’re also launching Pocket Preferences, which uses our insights to make your favorite apps and sites for discovering content smarter as well.

How it works: Pocket uses the topics, sites and authors you save most and lets you connect them to other apps using your Pocket account. Pocket Preferences automatically updates your interests in connected apps so the content they recommend is as dynamic as your tastes.

I’ve long been a huge fan of Marco Arment’s Instapaper app, but not anymore.

Due to the slow update cycle and uncertainty surrounding Instapaper’s future, I switched to Pocket about a year ago and never looked back.

Pocket is available free in the App Store.

The 21.4MB download supports all form-factor iDevices natively and requires an iPod, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 6.0 or later.

What’s your favorite read-later service?