Go Back To Basics & Ad-Free In New Chrome Reader Mode

Version 75 of Chrome's Canary Channel now showcases an incoming feature called "Reader mode" that should prove useful for clearing away the clutter on Mac, Linux, Windows, and Chrome OS platforms. As reported by TechDows, the feature is tucked away behind a flag setting and appears to be very close to complete. So it should land on the consumer-ready Stable Channel relatively quickly.

In a nutshell, once the mode is activated, the new mode is similar to appropriately-named modes on other browsers in that its strips unnecessary page elements to ensure that a page is easy to read. Unlike some of those other reader-centric modes, there don't appear to be any text customization options available in its current iteration.

So users won't be able to resize text or change font attributes but the mode does come with at least one distinct advantage. Although some image elements remain to add flavor to the content, Chromes new reader mode does seem to remove advertising. With the mode turned on, users on the desktop platforms can read even pages that are typically flooded with lag-inducing levels of advertisements with no problems.

Get reader mode in the flags menu

As noted above, the feature is still in beta and users will need to have the Canary version of the browser installed or activate the Canary Channel if they happen to be on Chrome OS. The latter of those options is not recommendable not only because it forces a complete reset of a Chromebook but is exceptionally buggy and replaces the Stable Channel.

Turning the mode on is simple enough once the Canary version of the app is installed. Users simply need to navigate to the "chrome://flags" page in the browser and then use the on-page search element to look for a setting titled "Enable Reader Mode."

Clicking "Enabled" on that setting in the drop-down menu to the right of its description and then restarting the browser will initiate the change. To turn the mode on after that point takes no more steps than activating desktop mode on Android. Namely, users need to click on the three-dot menu at the top-right-hand side of the UI and then the still somewhat confusingly named "Distill page" option.

Android?

Android already has similar features built in -- most notably, via the AMP features that break down pages into a more mobile-friendly and readable format. More features are being added all the time as Google continues working toward more usability across the board but this new setting is not at all likely to ever appear on smartphones or tablets.

Google has also put forward a lot of effort into making Chrome more workable for those who undertake multitasking-based activities on a regular basis.

For Android Chrome users, the company is expected to implement tab grouping and page previews to much the same effect at some point in the near future. This new reader mode is not unrelated to those efforts. While those other features will allow more content to be open and organized, a distilled page will make absorbing content less strenuous on the eye and faster, allowing a user to scroll through without unneeded extra elements.

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About the Author
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Daniel Golightly

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Senior Staff Writer for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it's heading. Contact him at [email protected]