How to use Pocket on a Kindle Touch

Since selling my iPad a few months ago, the app that I miss the absolute most is Pocket. For the uninitiated, Pocket allows you to save web pages and blog posts for reading later (in fact, Pocket was previously called Read It Later). The problem is, there is no Pocket app (or any 3rd party apps) available on the Kindle Touch out-of-the-box. However, jailbreaking your device will enable you to load Kindle apps (known as Kindlets) onto your device and run them. Using this method, you will install a Kindlet that allows you to put your Pocket articles onto your Kindle. This will require some legwork (and jailbreaking) — it's not as easy as installing an app and logging in to see your reading list.

The solution is to sideload a special book generated by Calibre onto the Kindle device. Calibre is powerful software that allows you to manage your e-book library, convert e-books to different formats, and sync to reader devices. You will use the Fetch News feature of Calibre to login to your Pocket account and pull in all of your pocketed articles. Calibre will then generate a book from those, and you will send that book to your Kindle using the USB docking cable.

Drawbacks and quirks

Before going any further, you need to understand that getting Pocket on your Kindle is more or less a hack — and the experience will not be as pleasant as the iPad app. Here are a few things to take note of:
  • If you have a huge list of pocketed articles like me, don't expect to put all of them on your device at once. You will be transferring them in large chunks.
  • You cannot archive an article from your Kindle. This is not terrible, though, because items are automatically archived (or marked as read) when they are downloaded using Calibre.
  • By default, articles are displayed oldest to newest. This is opposite the way the official Pocket apps work. Calibre will download your oldest pocketed items first, which for me are typically the least relevant.

Jailbreaking your device

Jailbreaking can be a scary word, especially because there is always the possibility of bricking your device. Do not fear: the Kindle Touch jailbreak is not very intrusive, and un-bricking your device is straightforward.
  1. Upgrade your Kindle Touch to the latest version (5.3.7.2). To do this, go to Menu > Settings. Next, tap Menu > Update Your Kindle. If it's grayed-out, you should be good to go.
  2. Connect the Kindle to your computer using a USB cable. You should see the Kindle drive appear.
  3. Download the jailbreak ZIP file, and extract the contents to your computer.
  4. Unzip the file kindle-5.4-jailbreak.zip, and drag the contents to the Kindle root directory.
  5. Tap Menu > Settings, then Menu > Update Your Kindle. After a few seconds, you should see **** JAILBREAK **** appear at the bottom of the Kindle screen. Don't worry — the message will go away after leaving this screen.
  6. Restart your device by tapping Menu > Settings, then Menu > Restart.

Installing the Collections Manager

The Kindle Touch Collections Manager gives you full control over the organization of books on your Kindle. Instead of all books showing up in the main list, you can create collections and sub-collections.
  1. Connect the Kindle to your computer.
  2. Download the Collections Manager ZIP file, and extract the contents to your computer.
  3. Drag the file CollectionsManager.azw2 to the documents folder on your Kindle.
  4. Eject the Kindle from your computer.
You should now see a new Collections Manager item on the home screen of your Kindle. Go ahead and tap that now. Congratulations! You have just installed and ran your first Kindlet.

Configuring Calibre with Pocket

Here are the instructions for connecting Calibre to your Pocket account, and downloading all of your pocketed articles. These are taken directly from a help page on the Pocket website. Before proceeding, go ahead and download and install Calibre — and then open it.
  1. Click the dropdown arrow under Fetch News
  2. Select Add a custom source
  3. Click Customize builtin recipe
  4. Select Pocket from the list
  5. Close the window
  6. Click Fetch News
  7. Under Custom, Click Pocket
  8. Add your username/password and set a schedule if preferred
  9. Click Download Now
Essentially, this process generates a custom book using your pocketed articles. The last step is to actually put the custom book onto your device.

Putting your Pocket articles onto your Kindle

Your almost there! Let's get your pocketed items onto your Kindle.
  1. Connect the Kindle to your computer.
  2. Launch Calibre.
  3. Calibre should ask you if you want to automatically convert e-books to work with the device. Click Yes.
  4. Calibre should automatically upload the Pocket e-book to your device. If not, go to Library, right-click the Pocket item, tap Send to device, then tap Send to main memory.
  5. Close Calibre, and eject your device.
You should now see a new item Pocket on the home screen of your Kindle. Go ahead and tap to open, and tap again to view the Pocket table of contents.

You're all done

You're all set to begin reading pocketed articles on your Kindle! When you finish reading all of the articles in the current batch, generate a new Pocket e-book and transfer it to your Kindle.

Hopefully you were able to get your Pocket into your Kindle. Follow the links below if you run into problems, or if you want to learn more about other Kindlets that can be installed on your Kindle Touch.

References

Many thanks to all the fine folk who have figured out how to set your Kindle free. I've simply compiled information from various sources into one place, and given specific instructions for the Kindle Touch. Most of this can be done on other Kindle models as well.

How to Effortlessly Manage your Kindle Collections
Kindle Touch Hacking
Kindle Touch/PaperWhite 5.0.x - 5.4.4.2 JailBreak
Kindle Collections Manager
How to Configure Calibre with Pocket

Jonathan
Dec. 16 2014