How many times a friend sent you a link containing a nice article and you hadn’t time to read it, or you were browsing something but wanted to read it later? Old school way: bookmark it. New way: add it to your reading list or to your favorite reading app. My favorite reading app is Pocket.
I was recently recommended to try NewsBot, not really knowing what it was. After trying it a bit I could notice that it’s similar to Pocket, thus I can compare the two apps.
Review / comparison between NewsBot and Pocket
Availability: NewsBot is available only for iOS.
Pocket is available also iOS, Android, Windows etc.
Login: both apps support the creation of a standard account with login/password, or you can login with an (existing) Google account.
You can add articles to NewsBot to read now, or later only via Safari.
You can add something to Pocket via the standard “Share” feature from anywhere: Safari, Chrome, any app with a share button… additionally, Pocket has a browser bookmarklet allowing you to save a page for later with a simple click. Pocket has also browser extensions.
Text-to-Speech: NewsBot can read articles only if you are connected to the internet.
Pocket has a TTS option to read them offline. In fact Pocket works perfectly offline.
Text-to-Speech Voice: I tried to add an article to NewsBot from Safari and compared its voice with. They are both ok. The Pocket voice sounds a bit more pleasant, but maybe that’s my personal preference. Both support different languages. I tried English and German.
Bugs: NewsBot comes with a supported list of feeds, e.g. when I first opened the app, “Global Voices” was already added by default. I added also Wired, Ars Technica, PC Magazine but NewsBot was not able to read any articles provided by these feeds. (tested on 2016-11-15)
Both apps (occasionally) do not parse correctly an article. When Pocket detects a problem, it can show you the page in a WebView and it offers you a one click button to report the issue, so they can investigate the page and eventually improve the parsing engine. NewsBot doesn’t offer a report feature, nor a webview.
Conclusion: the clear winner is Pocket
Pocket works on many platforms, you can add pages to it from any app and even from your desktop PC, it works offline and has features to adjust the font size, screen color etc. it’s free and if you are a power user you can buy additional premium options. You can even follow friends and their reading recommendations. If you like to read, give it a try.