Google Reader used to be the pinnacle of RSS news consumption before it was discontinued in 2013, and many people are still bitter about its demise. While Google probably won't ever properly resurrect the service, it's currently working on the next best thing: An option to follow websites in Chrome, tapping into RSS. You can try it right now in Chrome Beta 92.

How To Geek reports that you can get started by activating the so-called web feed flag in Chrome Beta under chrome://flags/#web-feed (copy and paste this into your address bar). Afte restarting your browser, you should notice a new "follow" option in the top right overflow menu (⋮) when you visit a news website like ours. Tap it, and you'll notice a new "Following" section on your new tab page, next to the "For you" Discover feed. In there, you'll find the latest posts from the websites you've decided to follow. It's also possible to manage the sources by tapping the gear icon next to the header.

Even though web feed is still hidden behind a flag and in beta, it already feels pretty stable. Following websites works as expected, although it looks like the feed is taking quite some time to fetch new content, and there's no means to refresh manually. It's currently also not possible to jump into the feed right after following a site by tapping the "Go to feed" shortcut in the toast that pops up at the bottom as a confirmation, but other than that, everything works as expected. However, some people report that the feed remains unpopulated for them, so your mileage may vary.

Google has been working on this functionality for a while. We first found evidence back in February, and Google confirmed it wanted to introduce these follow options during Google I/O in May. It's by no means a fully-featured replacement for what Google Reader was, but it's a step in the right direction. The Discover feed in Chrome's new tab page often feels overloaded with clickbait and irrelevant news, so it's great to see Google working on adding some personalization.

The web feed flag is currently live in Chrome Beta 92. You can download it on the Play Store or over at APK Mirror.

Chrome Beta
Chrome Beta
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
  • Thanks:
  • Moshe

Alternate title: Remember Google Reader? This is him now.