Google Reader was the peak in RSS news consumption prior to its shutdown in 2013, and many people are still bitter about its demise. While Google will probably never resurrect the service properly, it’s currently working on the next best thing: an option to follow websites in Chrome, tapping into RSS. You can try it out right now in Chrome Beta 92.
How To Geek reports that you can start by activating the so-called web stream flag in Chrome Beta under chrome: // flags / # web-feed (copy and paste this into your address bar). After restarting your browser, you should notice a new ‘follow’ option in the top right overflow menu (â®) when you visit a news website like ours. Tap it and you’ll notice a new “Tracking” section on your new tab page, next to the Discover “For You” feed. There you will find the latest articles from the websites you have decided to follow. It is also possible to manage sources by tapping the gear icon next to the header.
Even though the web feed is still hidden behind a flag and in beta, it already looks pretty stable. The following websites work as expected, although it appears that the feed is taking a while to pick up new content, and there is no way to manually refresh. It is also not currently possible to jump into the feed right after following a site by pressing the “Go to feed” shortcut in the toast that appears at the bottom as confirmation, but other than that everything works as expected. However, some people report that the feed stays empty for them so your mileage may vary.
Google has been working on this feature for some time. We first found evidence in February, and Google has confirmed that it wants to introduce these tracking options during Google I / O in May. This is by no means a complete replacement for what Google Reader used to be, but it is a step in the right direction. Chrome’s new tab page Discover feed often seems overloaded with click bait and irrelevant news, so it’s great to see Google working on adding personalization.
The web feed indicator is currently live in Chrome Beta 92. You can download it from the Play Store or APK Mirror.
Alternative title: Do you remember Google Reader? It’s him now.