Google’s Chrome browser will get a Reader Mode, similar to the one found in competing browsers like Firefox and the old Microsoft Edge. The feature is currently under development, but Chrome Canary users can test it starting today.
Chrome’s Reader Mode will work by stripping pages of most of their useless content, such as ads, comments sections, or animations, and leave a bare-bones version behind, showing only titles, article text, and article images.
HOW TO ENABLE READER MODE IN CHROME CANARY
Work on the feature started in February this year when Google engineers began porting the “simplified view” offered by Chrome on Android to desktop editions.
Today is the first day that a fully-functional Reader Mode is active in Chrome’s desktop versions –via Google Chrome Canary distributions.
To test Chrome’s upcoming Reader Mode, users must first visit the chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode section in their Chrome Canary version, and enable the Reader Mode option.
Once the Reader Mode flag is set to “Enabled,” a restart will be required before users can enter a page’s Reader Mode.
While Reader Mode can be used on any page, it works better with news stories and large text-based content. To use it, users must click the top-right Chrome dropdown menu and select the “Distill page” option.
Once enabled, this is how Chrome’s current Reader Mode looks like:
ZDNet understands that there are no current plans to enhance Chrome’s Reader Mode beyond this simplified view.
The idea, as stated in the Chrome bug report for tracking the implementation of this feature, was to port Chrome for Android’s “Simplified View,” rather than create a self-standing Reader Mode, akin to Firefox’s more advanced alternative, which supports loads of options, ranging from text customization features to text-to-speech support.