Archive for the ‘News’ Category
The weather is getting warmer and the days are getting longer, which can only mean one thing on college campuses… Graduation season is here! We at Team Pocket offer all new grads our congratulations — and a treasure trove of wise, heartfelt, and occasionally humorous advice as you start your next chapter.
“Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy — they’re given after all. Choices can be hard.”
“There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized.”
“A key component of wisdom is fearlessness, which is not the absence of fear, but rather not letting our fears get in the way.”
“Be wise, because the world needs more wisdom, and if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would.”
“Don’t just go through life, grow through life. Make it a point to acknowledge mystery and welcome rich questions.”
“If you’re not swerving around and hitting the guard rails every now and then, you’re not going fast enough.”
“You do not pass through this life, it passes through you. You experience it, you interpret it, you act, and then it is different.”
“Since your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up. Speed it along. Start right now.”
Moira Forbes, Forbes
Whether they’re sitting at the helm of multi-billion dollar corporations or reigning supreme in the world of fashion, these ten power women share insights that have scaled far beyond the graduating classes for which they were intended.
Charles Wheelan, The Wall Street Journal
“Marry someone smarter than you are. Read obituaries. Don’t model your life after a circus animal.”
Hats off to you, Class of 2014!
Today we are beyond thrilled to announce that Pocket is bringing home five awards from the Webbys! Pocket picked up two Webby Awards for Best Productivity App and Best Service & Utility for Tablets, as well as three People’s Voice Awards for each of the categories in which we were nominated, including Best User Experience.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. We can’t express how honored we are to have had your support in reaching this momentous milestone for us.
- Team Pocket
Over the last 48 hours, we encountered some site performance issues across the Pocket platform. The issues were sporadic – some of you may not have noticed – but over the past 2 days, we had the site in maintenance mode for about 2 hours, and experienced an additional 10 hours of degraded performance. I wanted to take a moment to provide a bit more insight into what happened and what we did to fix the issues.
On behalf of the entire Pocket team, I want to apologize. We pride ourselves with Pocket being a service that “just works” – providing a trustworthy way to save interesting content for later and always making sure it is available for you to view whenever and wherever you want. Underlying this promise is a platform that we’ve spent a lot of time tuning to ensure that it is fast and responsive for all of our users – in fact, outside of some planned maintenance windows, we haven’t had more than a few minutes of downtime in over a year. However, as the issues above highlight, we weren’t able to keep our promise over the past couple of days.
On Tuesday night we started a routine maintenance to swap out our database servers with fresh new ones. This is a process we’ve performed in the past without incident, and it typically requires about 15 minutes of downtime while we swap things out and connect everything back up. We host our services on Amazon Web Services, who have been an excellent partner over the past few years, empowering us to grow with our users and support all the myriad ways you have chosen to use Pocket. For this particular upgrade, we decided to switch the instance type to take advantage of some of Amazon’s newer offerings.
Unfortunately, after the upgrade we started noticing some problems. Specifically, the latency of requests to the new database from our web servers increased significantly. We made some adjustments Tuesday night and things seemed to be working again as we went to sleep. Early Wednesday morning, though, our server monitoring alerted us that things were still awry, and we started to dig in further.
By 11 AM PT on Wednesday morning we had the site stabilized. As we continued to monitor things over the course of the day, we still were not happy with the performance of the new database servers. Despite specs that suggested the new databases should be an improvement, they just weren’t in practice. Since our traffic has a cycle to it (with mornings being the heaviest), we decided to track how things handled into Thursday morning.
On Thursday morning we started seeing heightened errors again with the additional morning rush, and decided to take corrective action by swapping the database servers back to the original specs and instance type. We completed this second swap at 11:45 AM PT, after which everything has been back to normal and performing at the level we (and you, our users) expect.
In regards to this specific issue, there is no additional maintenance work to complete. Everything is fixed.
Updates like this are a necessary part of a growing company like Pocket. We’ve learned a few things on how to improve our process going forward. We will also be working with Amazon to understand exactly why the new instance types didn’t work as we expected they would.
In closing, thank you for your patience and support while we worked through this issue – we love working on Pocket and promise to keep making it better and more reliable for all of you!
If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter at @pocketsupport.
- Matt Koidin, CTO
Two years ago today, we introduced Pocket. Whether you signed up yesterday or have been with us since the beginning, we hope Pocket has helped you become smarter and more efficient by letting you save, view, and share the stories you find interesting.
You inspire our team of thirteen people to come to work hungry and passionate about building the absolute best Pocket experience possible. Thank you for your continued support of this product that we live and breathe each day, and be sure to look out for an exciting update coming from us next month.
Help Us Bring Home Our First Webby!
Also, we are excited and honored to say that Pocket has been nominated for not one, not two, but three Webby Awards! We’re incredibly humbled to be in the running for Best Productivity App, Best User Experience, and Best Services & Utilities App for Tablets.
We’d be honored to have you help us bring home our first Webby Award!
Using Pocket with Flipboard
In case you haven’t heard the news yet, Zite recently joined forces with Flipboard to make an even better social magazine app. As Zite will only remain active for a few more months, we wanted to share some tips on how to get started saving to Pocket from Flipboard.
Using Flipboard is easy, and the process will likely sound familiar if you’re already a Zite user. When you first sign up, simply choose some topics you’re interested in. Flipboard will immediately begin to show you relevant content based on the topics you selected.
Best of all, if you find something in Flipboard that you want to view later, you can easily save it to Pocket!
To connect your Pocket account to Flipboard, just set it as your Read Later service of choice.
- Open Flipboard and flip once to move past the Cover Stories screen.
- Tap the gear icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
- Within Settings, tap Read Later.
- Choose Pocket and sign in to your account.
Once your account is linked, you can save any Flipboard story to Pocket by long-pressing it in the Cover View, then tapping Read Later (Android) or Save to Pocket (iOS).
Get the Best of Pocket Right in Flipboard
For the most popular content being saved and shared by other Pocket users, subscribe to our Pocket Hits feed on Flipboard. Here’s how to subscribe in Flipboard on your phone and tablet:
On iOS and Android phones:
- Tap the red ribbon in the top-right corner to show the white magnifying glass icon and gray Search field.
- Search for “PocketHits,” then tap to open the feed with the Pocket icon.
- Tap the black-and-white ribbon in the top toolbar to subscribe.
On iOS and Android tablets:
- Tap the white magnifying glass icon to start a new search.
- Search for “PocketHits,” then tap to open the result with the Pocket Hits logo.
- Tap the word Subscribe in the top toolbar.
Voilà! PocketHits will now appear as one of the tiles among your Flipboard Cover Stories.
Catch you on the Flip side!
75% of content saved to Pocket every day is in text or video form. As part of this week’s release of Pocket 5.4 for Android, we revamped several aspects of our Reader and Video View to make it amazingly elegant and intelligent.
Full-Screen Experience with Immersive Mode
Responding to frequent requests from our community, Pocket now supports Immersive Mode on KitKat. For pre-KitKat users, both the Pocket toolbar and the Android status bar now disappear completely as you swipe or scroll through an article.
What’s more, images and videos are now “full bleed,” which means they extend all the way to the edge of the screen, making them bigger and more beautiful.
Refined Layout and Typography
We’ve fine-tuned every page element — from font size to line height, from paragraph formatting to padding — to make them all fit together seamlessly. This will make reading articles much more comfortable, no matter what their length.
Our improved display settings menu makes it easier and quicker to adjust font type, font size, theme, and brightness. Simply change your font size to automatically adjust margins, padding, line lengths, and line heights. No need to configure every option separately! (Justification preferences can now be toggled in Pocket’s Settings.)
If you have questions, please feel free to get in touch with us at email@example.com.
We’re moving quickly in our quest to bring Pocket to the rest of the world. Just last month, the Pocket platform became multilingual and available in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.
As of today, the Pocket platform is available in six new languages: Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Dutch, Korean, Polish, and Portuguese. In addition to a fully-translated platform – including Pocket’s packaged Chrome App – we’ve also made significant improvements to Article View accuracy for these languages.
A special shoutout goes to all of our users who’ve helped us with translations over the past few weeks. Your feedback has been invaluable and we cannot thank you enough!
You can enjoy Pocket in your language on all the platforms listed below.
Saving interesting content online should be simple. That’s why we’ve designed saving to Pocket around a one-click experience. When you find an article, video, or webpage you want to view later, just click the Pocket button in your browser’s toolbar, and voila! It’s been added to your list.
We’ve spent the past few months collaborating with Mozilla on their new bookmarking features in the Social API. The result? A brand new Pocket for Firefox that makes it easier to quickly save interesting content from your browser. The experience is fast, lightweight, and consistent with Pocket’s extensions for Chrome, Opera, and Safari.
Now when you save something to Pocket in Firefox, you can immediately add tags to organize your content. Pocket will even auto-complete tags as you type them out. So if you happen to forget the exact tag you use to label recipes, thought-provoking articles, or travel videos, just begin typing. Pocket will remember the rest.
The new Pocket for Firefox is fast and efficient, focusing on making it as easy as possible for you to save and view the content you’re interested in. We hope you enjoy it!
We’d like to take a moment to introduce Poki, a beautiful third-party client that recently debuted on Windows Phone. It was met with fantastic reviews, and The Verge was so impressed they named Poki as the Top App of the Week.
We caught up with Poki’s creator, Tobi Klika, and talked about skateboarding, where he finds his inspiration, and what it was like developing his first Windows Phone app.
How did you first hear about Pocket and what made you want to create your own Pocket app?
I heard about Pocket on a news page in the App Store and it was called Read It Later back then. I started using it as the new design rolled out, which made the service even more interesting to me. In the middle of 2013, I started creating my C# library – PocketSharp – with the goal of learning as much as I could about the programming language.
Working with the Pocket API was a great decision as it’s consistent and easy to use. With the first major release of the PocketSharp library I thought about creating an application which allows you to consume it. And as I’m a huge fan of Windows Phone and had already created the C# library, it was a no-brainer – Poki is my first and only app right now.
Are you working on anything outside of Poki?
I’m primarily a web developer (mostly UI/frontend) and contribute to open-source as much as I can! I’m currently in the transition to getting self-employed and starting my company, cee, which will be all about Web & Windows Phone apps.
Wow! How do you manage all of that?
Well, it’s not that hard in the winter, as I can’t go out skateboarding either way (which is what I typically do with my spare time). And over the course of this past year, I reduced my working time to 26 hours per week to have more time to establish my work on my private projects and eventually start a company.
Poki’s launch was met with a ton of great feedback. What about the app are you most proud of?
I ignored the common wisdom that releasing applications as fast as possible is a good thing. It took me 5 months to get the initial version of Poki out into the wild, and it was the best decision I could have made! For me every detail has to be perfect, every pixel has to fit. Poki would have never been such a success if I had pushed it earlier.
So, what are the 5 most recent items you’ve saved/read in Poki?
That’s going to be funny. My most recent items are just for debugging purposes.
My newest “real” items are the Poki article by The Verge, two articles about Visual Studio, one about SATA Express (PC Hardware) and the “First Human Ever To Run A Loop-The-Loop.” Check it out, it’s insane: http://airows.com/first-human-ever-to-run-a-loop-the-loop/.
How did you become an app developer? And do you have any advice for aspiring app developers?
The most important thing is that you understand the operating system you want to develop for – you need to get a feeling for the interface, the controls, the whole ecosystem. I have been using Windows Phone since it was released (fell in love with it) and being a developer made it easier to get started as well!
I watched a lot of introduction videos in the beginning, played with the controls and learned how to customize them. In my opinion it’s a common mistake that developers are releasing their applications with the sole purpose of delivering functionality. Functionality is important, yes, but user experience is as well. And that’s what a lot of apps are missing (at least on Windows Phone).
When it comes to your work, where do you find ideas and inspiration?
There is a lot of inspiration floating around on the internet. I for myself use Behance and Dribbble a lot (I was a designer before I became a programmer). But it’s not only great designs and photos which inspire my work, but also architecture and nature with its colourful nuances.
When it comes to programming, I read a lot of source code from open-source projects and spoke with other developers, as well as being active in the community. This broadens my mind and helps me find new and creative solutions for my engineering problems.
Tobi, thanks for taking the time to chat with us, and congrats on such a fantastic launch for Poki!
If you’re a developer reading this and are interested in bringing the power of “save for later” to your users and applications, check out our Developer Page to learn more on how to get started.