Google Chrome is getting an RSS feed reader on desktop

Ashwin
Aug 22, 2022
Google Chrome
|
27

Google introduced a built-in RSS reader in Chrome for Android last year. And now, the feature is on its way to Chrome for desktop and ChromeOS.

Google Chrome is getting an RSS feed reader on desktop

The feature was spotted in the browser's source code by About Chromebooks (via Android Police) in ChromeOS 106. It was referred to as "Web Feed".

The blog contacted a Google Chrome Engineer, Adriana Porter Felt, to inquire whether this web feed refers to RSS feeds. She confirmed it, and added that Google Reader will also pull content from sites that don't have an RSS feed. That's quite intriguing, and can be handy for browsing latest articles from multiple sites quickly without sifting through dozens of tabs.

ADVERTISEMENT

The engineer also stated that the feature is a work-in-progress, and that the mobile version needs to be improved before it will be ready on desktops. The target seems to be Chrome 106, which is set to be released in late September.

So, how does it work? On Android, you can access your Feed by opening a new tab. The RSS Reader on Chrome doesn't appear on the new tab page, it's available via the sidebar.

Google Chrome's RSS Reader is currently accessible in the Chrome 106 Dev Channel build and ChromeOS 106. But it doesn't work just yet. If you want to enable the context menu option, you can do so by downloading the latest build of the browser from the official website.

How to enable the RSS Feed Reader in Google Chrome

1. Navigate to chrome://flags/

2. Search for the word feed, or just use the following URL.

chrome://flags/#following-feed-sidepanel

3. You should see an option that is labeled "Following feed in the sidepanel". The flag is set to its default value, which is disabled.

How to enable the RSS Feed Reader in Google Chrome

4. Click on the drop-down menu next to it, and set it to enabled. You will need to restart the browser to apply the changes.

5. Go to a website that supports RSS feeds, e.g. https://www.ghacks.net/

6. Right-click anywhere on the page, and you should see the "Follow Site" option. Click on it to add it to your Feed.

7. Click on the side panel button in Chrome's toolbar. This is the same panel that contains your Reading List and Bookmarks.

8. Hit the drop-down menu, and select the new option, Feed.

How to access the RSS Feed Reader in Google Chrome

As I mentioned earlier, the Feed interface doesn't load, it just gives an error that says, "www.google.com refused to connect." But the existence of the option serves as proof that the feature is on the way.  If it is to ship with the stable version of Chrome 106 next month, we can probably expect the RSS reader to start working soon.

Once available, it will likely make its way into other Chromium-based browsers, though Vivaldi and Edge have their own built-in RSS readers. I think the Google Reader for desktop looks similar to Edge's discover pane in that they both use the sidebar, however, the option to manually subscribe to feeds should give Chrome's version the advantage.

It's good to see RSS gaining importance again, but all these options are tied to a specific browser, I feel that a cloud-based, cross-platform aggregator maybe a better option, you know like the original Google Reader.

Do you use RSS readers?

Summary
Google Chrome is getting an RSS feed reader on desktop
Article Name
Google Chrome is getting an RSS feed reader on desktop
Description
Google Chrome is adding support for a built-in RSS feed reader on desktop and ChromeOS.
Author
Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
Logo
Advertisement

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «

Comments

  1. justanInouser said on August 22, 2022 at 9:55 am
    Reply

    Well, been always using a feed reader, by scraping with own crontab scripts even before there were proper RSS/Atom aggregators.

    There were many services and self-hosted aggregators, but when Google Reader came to the market, many suffered badly and even perished – simply could not compete with a free alternative from Google itself.

    Then came the inevitable end for Google’s Reader and competition sprung up again, now with even new and fresh entrants. Of all those, Inoreader.com offered the best service and quickly surpassed the utility of google reader. Also, it’s running from and hosted in Europe. Not saying that feedly, newsblue, theoldreader etc. would be bad, but ino was just way superior – and it still is.

    So, I’ve been a paying customer of Pro subscription ever since and I don’t see that changing, not matter what Google brings to the yard. The trust is simply gone.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 22, 2022 at 11:27 am
      Reply

      Taking reservations against anything that is created by Google these days aside, third-party feed readers often offer more features than those of browsers.

    2. Mark said on August 22, 2022 at 4:13 pm
      Reply

      Agree completely, I also use the paid version of Inoreader, and anything Google introduces is subject to disappearing again, once bitten etc.

    3. Jojo said on August 22, 2022 at 9:15 pm
      Reply

      I’ve used the free version of Ino and the basic functionality offered in that version works for me. I am glad that some of you are paying for the PRO version, which will hopefully keep the company afloat.

    4. Anonymous said on August 23, 2022 at 2:16 am
      Reply

      Inoreader is good but it updates feeds really slow compared to Feedly and I need to refresh some of my personal feeds for them to be updated.

      Now back on topic. I read my feeds on different computers and an offline Feed reader is useless for me. Don’t know why Google bother to add Feed reading functionality while there are many extensions that provide it.

  2. Leopeva64 said on August 22, 2022 at 10:13 am
    Reply

    ‘The feature was spotted in the browser’s source code by About Chromebooks’

    Nope, I spotted this months ago:

    https://redd.it/svgo78

    I also spotted the new ‘Feed’ entry in the Side panel combobox in April:

    https://twitter.com/Leopeva64/status/1517881998941077505

    And I also spotted the new ‘Following’ module added to the New Tab Page:

    https://twitter.com/Leopeva64/status/1559142712946970626

    https://twitter.com/Leopeva64/status/1548370610165665792

    .

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 22, 2022 at 11:25 am
      Reply

      Multiple users can spot a feature at different times. There is no “I spotted it first, which means, that you can’t spot it anymore”.

      1. Leopeva64 said on August 22, 2022 at 12:08 pm
        Reply

        This is another of the new features in Chrome that I SPOTTED FIRST:

        https://redd.it/wti7y3

        ;)

        .

  3. Leopeva64 said on August 22, 2022 at 10:44 am
    Reply

    A new feature in Chrome that has gone under the radar around here is the option to set Chrome as the default browser with a single click:

    https://redd.it/wirkms

    Mozilla added this option in Firefox more than a year ago and Google has not wanted to be left behind. You can test this new feature in the Chromium browser or in the Dev version of Chrome by adding the following command line switch to the shortcut:

    –enable-features=Win10UnattendedDefault

    This command line flag is supposed to work on both Windows 10 and Windows 11 (I’ve only tested it on Windows 10).

    .

  4. Hitomi said on August 22, 2022 at 11:43 am
    Reply

    They waited after Firefox nuked their own reader to bring theirs. Right now they are playing 4D chess against Mozilla.

  5. Gusmaia said on August 22, 2022 at 12:37 pm
    Reply

    I just hope they dont break our hearts again – discontinuing the service just as we get used to it as they did last time.

    1. Frankel said on August 22, 2022 at 1:19 pm
      Reply

      The actual RSS feed is provided by tge website, not google. Therr are dozens of feed readers for mobile and desktop. Google is just jumping a decades old bandwagon.

  6. pd said on August 22, 2022 at 12:37 pm
    Reply

    Hope this embarrasses Mozilla into reintegrating first class support for this open standard the likes of which they simply refused to keep supporting due to ignorance, I imagine, of the evil issues with anti-social platforms. Everyone uses shitter now, like a bunch of their sheep, hey? Nope. Never have, never will.

    1. Anonymous said on August 22, 2022 at 7:29 pm
      Reply

      No.

    2. m3ciy said on August 23, 2022 at 8:53 am
      Reply

      I second to that, at least to “embarrasses Mozilla”. I really used RSS feeds as bookmark entries. When it got removed, I stopped using feeds, as external apps like RSSowl and others felt like to much for my needs.

    3. Younes ben amara said on August 26, 2022 at 1:15 am
      Reply

      It’s nice return to an old but gold tech the “RSS”. I am looking forward to try it.

      I am using Feedly for years now. And it’s wonderful RSS reader.

      The feature of fetching website’s feeds even when it doesn’t have RSS is very interesting to me.

      Thanks for your article

  7. Paul(us) said on August 22, 2022 at 1:03 pm
    Reply

    I use “Thunderbird”.
    Why burden my browser even more?

    1. Frankel said on August 22, 2022 at 1:20 pm
      Reply

      Why burden your email client even more?
      Oh snap!

  8. Sleeping said on August 22, 2022 at 5:31 pm
    Reply

    I use InoReader every day :)

  9. dude said on August 22, 2022 at 11:04 pm
    Reply

    Since Google shutdown it’s own RSS Reader, I’ve been forced to use Feedly. Strange they are investing energy in a new RSS reader.

    1. Anonymous said on August 24, 2022 at 12:50 am
      Reply

      IIRC they discontinued GReader right around the time they started pushing Google+, which was a total failure. Then they even removed the RSS icon from the address bar in the hopes to kill RSS and force people to use social media to follow news and whatever people “follow” on the internet.

      Still pretty embarrassing that they are now bringing it back.

  10. Anonymous said on August 22, 2022 at 11:21 pm
    Reply

    I hate sidebars. I’ll stick with QuiteRSS.

  11. RossN said on August 23, 2022 at 6:32 am
    Reply

    Still using ‘The Old Reader’ web service, for what might be decades now. Was the closest in functionality to Google Reader when that ceased.

    I see that Brave (beta) has an RSS Reader now. Fine if you like filling your UI with very few items that are not compact.

  12. Shane Lear said on August 24, 2022 at 12:29 am
    Reply

    I would be lost without Feedly. I was a huge Google Reader user when it was around. I don’t know that I’ll adopt the new Reader since I am happy and organized in my Feedly account, but I’ll definitely give it a try!

    1. Anonymous said on August 24, 2022 at 12:57 am
      Reply

      Ideally RSS shouldn’t be a 3rd party service on a website that requires account and registration. Ideally it should run on your local computer or phone and it would periodically update in the background.

      For this reason on the PC I’m using Feedbro which is a Firefox add-on and on Android I’m using Feeder. Both are running locally on my device.

  13. Leopeva64 said on August 24, 2022 at 2:59 pm
    Reply

    Apparently Chrome will have a feature very similar to Edge’s ‘Sleeping tabs’ (with very similar configuration options)…

    https://redd.it/wwhrsm

    .

  14. Rex said on August 25, 2022 at 10:11 am
    Reply

    QuiteRSS gang rise up. Best desktop feed reader, uses Qt instead of retarded Electron so actually looks like a desktop application, and supports filtering. I don’t like video and podcast posts, so I can weed them out of my feeds.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.