Reading mode is a useful feature in Google Chrome, but it has remained unchanged for a while now. Most of the latest smartphones come pre-installed with Google Chrome, and while the browser offers a reading mode for text-heavy pages, it lacks innovation.
If you are on any of the Chrome beta channels, you may have experienced some inconsistencies with the reading mode. There are times when you can’t activate it, and other times it cuts off important parts of the content you want to read.
It is evident that an upgrade is needed, and it seems like Google is working on it. Currently, there is an experiment being conducted on the Canary version of Chrome for desktop, which gives us a glimpse of what’s to come. The new reading mode in Canary will have the ability to read aloud, which is a long-awaited feature.
Chrome Canary is a developer-focused version of Chrome that is highly experimental and frequently updated. You can run it on your phone and computer, and it allows users to test out new features in advance. However, not all changes in Canary are permanent, which can be disappointing.
Now, let’s focus on the reading mode. The latest update on the desktop version of Canary introduces a reading mode that can read the text aloud to you. Currently, the voice is described as monotone and robotic, but since it is Google we’re talking about, we can expect improvements if the feature sticks.
The question is, will this reading mode make its way to the mobile version of Canary and eventually to Chrome stable? The chances are high if the testing goes well. However, it’s worth noting that this functionality already exists on Android phones with Google Assistant installed. Users can prompt Google Assistant to read articles aloud while on the respective page. This feature works effectively.
Therefore, while it may seem redundant to add this feature to Chrome, it could serve as a shortcut for activating Google Assistant. Additionally, it may resolve compatibility issues for devices that do not support Google Assistant.
Only time will tell if the testing period is successful and if this reading mode upgrade becomes a reality.