Mozilla has released a major update for Pocket (opens in new tab) that reads saved articles aloud so you can catch up hands-free. The new feature, Listen, effectively turns pages stored in Pocket into a custom podcast.
Listen is powered by Amazon Polly (opens in new tab) - a text-to-speech service that uses machine learning to convert type into lifelike spoken words. It's available now for iOS (opens in new tab), Android (opens in new tab), and as a beta for web (opens in new tab).
“At Mozilla, what we love about the web is the ability to freely discover new topics and ideas, outside of the influence of platforms over which you have no control,” said Mark Mayo, chief product officer for Firefox.
“Pocket's update adds to Mozilla’s experimentation with content discovery by making it even easier to enjoy great content when you're on the go, in your own focused and uncluttered space.”
Mozilla has also given the app a visual redesign, paring back the interface so you can focus on the pages and stories you've saved.
There are new dark and sepia themes to make reading more comfortable in different lighting conditions, plus updated typography.
Pocket was originally a third-party Firefox extension, and was integrated into the browser in 2015. Mozilla acquired Pocket (opens in new tab) in 2017, allowing the two companies to work more closely.
Pocket presents a list of suggested articles called Pocket Recommendations. when you open a new tab in Firefox, and earlier this year, Mozilla began experimenting with sponsored Recommendations. These are essentially targeted ads, but unlike many web services, all of Pocket's targeting is done within your browser. None of your browsing data is sent back to Mozilla or any third parties.
It's possible to disable Pocket Recommendations completely, or turn off sponsored posts through the browser's settings menu.