Google will bring Reader-esque functionality to the Chrome browser
The internet collectively mourned the death of Google Reader in 2013, and since then we’ve been trying to find ways to bring some form of it back into our lives through Twitter feeds, Reddit, or using other RSS readers. However, it looks like 9 years later, Google is experimenting with a very similar feature right in Chrome.
In February last year, Chrome Story spotted a way to track websites and topics using Google Chrome on Android. You just needed go to the site, tap the 3-dot menu at the top right, scroll down and tap “Follow”. Once a website was added to your followed list, you could then see it on Chrome for Android New tab page right next to the “Discover” as shown below. This “following“The Feed isn’t exactly a Google Reader replacement as it lacks features such as the ability to mark articles as read, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Since then, this experiment has been advertised by Google in the Chromium blog as “an experience to help web users and publishers create deeper connections on Chrome”. However, to make things more interesting, it was recently discovered that this feature will also extend to the desktop version of Chrome, allowing those of us who use Chrome OS to take full advantage of it. The discovery was made thanks to a new patch in Chromium Gerrit which reads:
Add a menu item to follow a site for desktop feed
Also move some files out of the Android directory so they can be used for the desktop version.
This finding was posted by user Leoparda64 on Reddit, who adds that according to code changes for the desktop version of Chrome, the “Follow the site” will be located in the context menu of the tab.
It’s unclear at this time when this feature will make its way to the desktop version of Chrome, but we’ll keep an eye on it and let you know when it becomes available. For now, you should be able to preview it using Chrome on your Android device.