Read It Later becomes Pocket, goes free →∞ Tue, 17 Apr 2012 · Comments
Not sure I like this. I was a beta tester for the Android version, but an update promised for early April never arrived, and I didn’t get any emails announcing the change either.
Anyway, Pocket is definitely much improved design-wise, and I can understand the reasoning behind the new name. However, the main list view in the new Android app lags when scrolling, and there’s no clear visual indication anymore whether an article has been saved for offline-reading or not.
The new website is pretty ridiculous. Article headings are way too big, with way too much padding, and placing controls in fixed bars along the top and bottom of the screen… seriously? Just put them in a sidebar and stop wasting space.
But here’s the real bummer:
Once a user starts using us, they use us for years. From a business perspective, having a user pay $2.99 up-front, once, and then use the app for 4 years doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Translation: They’re going to sell subscriptions. Or worse. Seems like the recent explosion in free-to-play/freemium titles that constantly milk people for cash has “inspired” Nate Weiner.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like Pocket (or Read It Later) since I prefer saving the complete webpage over text-only. I will continue to use it. But this sudden change in strategy, essentially screwing over all your earlier customers, is not nice.