Many newsreaders, web surfers, or random internet users, if they’re anything like me, may face a dilemma. They found a great website, article, or anything on the web, but aren’t sure the best way to save it. They try bookmarks, text lists, self-addressed emails, and it all results in more disorganization then before.
Instapaper and Pocket are both apps, bookmarklets, and extensions. With a simple click of the bookmark, extension, or app, you can save an article to your library. Your library syncs across device, phone, and computer automatically, and provides options for each.
Instapaper and Pocket both provide very similar options. The main difference is interface—Instapaper has a minimalistic approach, while Pocket’s interface is more colorful. Both are extremely easy to use.
Instapaper shows only the most fundamental options. It gives a “Read Later”, “Liked”, “Archive”, “Videos”,”Browse”, and “Folders” tab. Other controls are as simple as they come, with only a Filter, Sort, Search, and Edit button. The Edit button reveals several more options, like Archiving, Deleting, or moving to a folder. Sliding on an article provides the same options.
Both are completely free, and though you can purchase a subscription, all the main features are available without purchase. Both have no advertisements, and no pop ups constantly asking for subscription.
A new idea is quickly becoming widespread. A group called Phonebloks wants to build a phone that would last. The problem, they say, is that a new phone can only be used a short period, usually a couple of years, before it is obsolete or broken.
Their plan, then, is a phone made of detachable “bloks”, or components. Each would do some function. for example, a blok might be a screen, processor, or memory. Therefore, when something broke or needed a repair, the user would only need to buy a new “blok”. This would hopefully significantly cut down on electronic waste.
Even beyond repairs or upgrades, this has benefits. Detachable components lead to customizability. If, for example, you take lots of pictures and store them only in the cloud, you could replace memory with a bigger and better camera, therefore only having what you actually use. Phonebloks even envisions a “Blokstore”, where any company could make components for the phone. Camera companies could make a camera, processor companies could make a processor. It would be open-source in the physical world.
Phonebloks has partnered with three companies so far, and hopes to work with more. So far CYSO, Solon Advocaten, and Motorola (from Google) have agreed to help. Phonebloks still needs individuals, though. On their site, they are asking for help in whatever field you are. Sign up here.
This vision of companies working together to drastically reduce phone waste is an idea to last. Phonebloks will have to overcome limitations like making companies to collaborate, and getting enough funding. If everyone helps, though, it could change the world.