But this isn't a post about how I love Windows Phone 7, this is a post about a common scenario I face day to day.
Reading It Later
When on the go I'll read through my Facebook and Twitter feeds using WP7's built in social network integration - it's not fancy but boy is it faster than any dedicated Facebook/Twitter app you'd care to try. OK, enough of the hard sell, time to focus...
Often I'll come across a link that someone has posted pointing to a blog post/news article/video/whatever that I'll be interested in, which of course will pop open in IE Mobile. Sometimes I'll read it, but other times I just want to "read it later" - either the article is too small for a phone screen to read easily, I don't have time to read it all, or it's a video and I would rather not eat up my data contract.
So my current system of saving these one-off things to look at is to email the link to myself - very easy to do in IE Mobile using the "Share" menu option - but then I'll end up with loads of emails in my inbox which are just reminders for me to do something. I just feels like there must be a better way...
I asked friends and looked around and eventually settled on Pocket (formally Read It Later). All it does is collect links that you save via a number of methods which you can then look at later. I went with this one because although it doesn't have much in the way of direct WP7 integration there are at least two simple ways that I can save links to my Pocket account from my phone:
- Email the link to Pocket. Again quite simple thanks to the "Share" menu.
- Add a bookmarklet to your favourites to magically save links.
But if you look at the instructions they give, it tells you to drag and drop the bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar because they are assuming you are doing this from your PC, which is not something you can do on a touchscreen.
Adding Bookmarklets to your Phone
Fortunately you can add bookmarklets to your phone's browser, it's just not as intuitive. Here's how I did it for the Pocket bookmarklet but I assume the same process can be applied for other sites:
- From your phone's browser, go to the Pocket bookmarklet page to see the button that has the bookmarklet link.
- Press and hold the bookmarklet button to get the "right click" menu to appear, then tap "Copy Link".
- Tap the "..." on the browser's menu bar to see the main menu and tap "add to favourites".
- Enter a memorable name for it - I've called mine "+ Pocket" like the website suggests - and save it.
That's it, you've now got a working bookmarklet in your phone's favourite list. Now any time you see something on your phone's browser that you want to read later, just go to the favourites menu and tap the bookmarklet to save it to your Pocket account.