Brave Today is a news reader integrated on Brave's New Tab Page
Brave Software, the company that is behind the web browser of the same name, announced the release of Brave Today on the official company website.
Brave Today is a news reader that is integrated into the web browser. While that is not that special, considering that other browsers may also display news or content from around the Web on the new tab page, it is privacy-preserving according to the company.
Brave Today is available in the latest version of the Brave Browser already. All you need to do is open a new tab page in the browser and scroll down. Brave visualizes this with a new Brave Today - Scroll Down text at the bottom. It is easy to overlook though, especially if all other new tab page content is displayed.
Brave Software designed the news feed to be privacy preserving. The content is delivered "anonymously to the user's browser via Brave's new private content delivery network" according to the announcement. The company notes that the implementation ensures that there is no data to collect or track for third-parties.
Brave Today collects news stories from hundreds of RSS feeds in different categories such as world news, technology, or sport. The integrated algorithm determines articles of interest based on a user's selection of categories, the browsing history, and publishing dates among other variables.
Users of Brave may customize news sources by activating the customize button when Brave Today is displayed on the screen. The browser lists all news categories and sources.
There is no option to disable an entire category with a single action; you need to open the category with a click or tap, and disable all its news sources to do so.
The selection has a strong focus on the United States as you won't many find non-English non-US-based news sources listed. As far as technology sites are concerned, you get the usual assortment of the most popular sites such as Lifehacker, Gizmodo, The Verge or Techcrunch, but not more geekier sources such as ours (which happen to publish more articles about Brave than the majority of these larger sites).
It takes a while to go through the source listings to enable or disable sources. Brave displays offers and news as well using Brave Today, but you can disable these when you open the Brave category in customize.
Brave Today is not a full-fledged news reader as it delivers article titles and images only. Users cannot read the entire article on Brave's new tab page as clicks on articles open the article on the publisher's website instead.
Brave Today adds news to the browser's new tab page. The content is delivered via Brave's own content delivery network so that the user's IP address is hidden when the feeds are retrieved.
It remains to be seen how well the algorithm works considering that it attempts to use the browsing history to deliver news to the user that are "most likely" of interest.
The privacy-preserving nature of Brave Today is the one thing that sets it apart. I miss the option to add custom news feeds to Brave Today and the lack of non-English sources.Â An option to suggest new sources would be useful in this regard.
Lastly, one has to ask whether reading news on the new tab page is that comfortable, especially when you compare it with reading the news in a feed reader.
Vivaldi released a news feed reader in its browser recently, and there are plenty of third-party feed readers such as QuiteRSS available that offer a better experience, especially since you can read the entire article if provided by the feed directly in the program.
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