Last yr, Mozilla made its first acquisition by snatching up Pocket, the Instapaper competitor that helps you save longer articles for later studying. Today, this widespread studying app is getting a major update that provides its app a visible makeover, together with a brand new darkish mode, and most significantly, a greater option to hearken to the content material you’ve saved.
Pocket had added a text-to-speech function a number of years in the past, so you could possibly hearken to an audio model of your saved articles, as an alternative of studying them. Instapaper right now affords the same possibility.
But these text-to-speech engines usually sound robotic and mangle phrases, resulting in a poor listening expertise. They’ll work in a pinch when you really want to meet up with some studying, and might’t sit right down to do it. But they’re positively not best.
Today, Pocket is addressing this drawback with the launch of a brand new listening function that may permit for a extra human-sounding voice. On iOS and Android, the pay attention function might be powered by Amazon Polly, Mozilla says.
First introduced at Amazon’s re:Invent developer occasion in November 2016, Polly makes use of machine studying applied sciences to ship extra life-like speech. Polly additionally understands phrases in context. For instance, it is aware of that the phrase “live” could be pronounced in another way based mostly on its utilization. (E.g. “I live in Seattle” vs. “Live from New York.”) The know-how has advanced since to help speech marks, a timbre impact, and dynamic vary compression, amongst different issues.
To benefit from the up to date “Listen” function, customers simply faucet the brand new icon within the top-left nook of the Pocket cellular app to begin taking part in their articles. It’s like your personal customized podcast, Mozilla notes.
In addition, the app has been given a redesign that provides it a clear, much less cluttered look-and-feel, and introduces a brand new app-wide darkish mode and sepia themes, for many who need a totally different kind of studying expertise.
The redesign contains up to date typography and fonts, centered on making lengthy reads extra comfy, as properly.
“At Mozilla, we love the web. Sometimes we want to surf, and the Firefox team has been working on ways to surf like an absolute champ with features like Firefox Advance,” mentioned Mark Mayo, Chief Product Officer at Firefox, in an announcement concerning the launch. “Sometimes, although, we need to quiet down and browse or pay attention to some nice pages. That’s the place Pocket shines, and the brand new Pocket makes it even simpler to take pleasure in the very best of the net while you’re on the go in your personal centered and uncluttered area,” he mentioned.
The up to date model of Pocket is reside on the net, iOS and Android, as of right now.