We’ve been tracking Google’s new Chrome Reading list feature for quite some time now, and it’s been awesome to see it evolve. What began as a simple means of reading something later with one click on the desktop is slowly becoming a full-blown replacement for tab managers like Toby, bookmarking systems like Pocket, and more. Today, we’re going to be looking at three interesting developments that may soon come to Reading list. All of these are Android only for now, but Google has done well to keep its mobile operating system and Chrome OS in sync with feature parity in regards to Reading list as of late, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see all three of these and more appear on Chromebooks before long.
Tab group support for Reading list
Let’s start with the one that I’m most excited about. There exists a new Chromium Repository commit that shows Google is planning to allow users to add entire tab groups into Reading list – something I’ve speculated on for quite some time now! It will first take the form of a developer flag, so when it becomes available, I’ll test drive it and give my thoughts.
Read later: add feature flag for tab group support in reading list.Bug: 1187584
I’ve been waiting to save my tab groups for later since they launched. Collapsing and freezing them with the addition of restoring them after my Chromebook is restarted is fantastic, but if they are to be used in the same way that one would utilize Toby tab manager, being able to rid yourself of them entirely and recall them later in full is ideal. I’ll admit that I don’t use tab groups often on Android, but once this feature hits Chrome OS, I’ll be ecstatic!
Add new tab page feed articles to Reading list
Because Chrome for Android now features Google Discover’s news feed on its new tab page, the following commit is a welcome one. A new ‘Read later’ button will be added to the menu for each feed article, allowing users to save interesting content for another time. The reason this is so exciting is that this could point to a read later button being added directly into Google Discover outside of Chrome, though this is speculative. If it exists in one version of Discover, namely the version on the browser’s new tab page, I imagine the next logical implementation is to also add it to Discover natively.
Read Later : Read later menu item for feed articles on NTPChromium Repository
Currently, you can only save Discover content for later by opening an article in web view and then tapping the Google Collections bookmark icon and saving it to a manually created Collection called ‘Read Later’. I can’t tell you how happy I would be if Collections and Reading list were combined, at least for read later articles. I feel as though this will happen eventually thanks to Chrome Memories and in time, Assistant Memory developments, but there is currently little evidence of this. I’d also love to see Google Discover come to the new tab page on Chromebook browsers, but that’s another topic for another day.
Needless to say, I’m excited for Reading list to reach its final form. Though this will take some time, it’s awesome to see Google working diligently on its usefulness. The more unity we see with this feature between desktop, mobile, and Chrome OS, the more useful it will become. When we do finally get the ability to sync full tab groups across devices via the list, I’ll no longer need to manually re-create my setup on my laptop after moving from my desktop. Are you excited about these things? Do you use Reading list at all, or have you disabled it?