Google hasn’t completely given up on RSS. Earlier this year, it started testing a Follow button in Chrome on Android, which allows users to get updates from websites on the new tab page. As of today, the feature is available in the browser’s stable build, so all Android users can try it.
Starting today, we’re experimenting on Chrome stable with a Following feature. You can choose websites to follow, and their RSS updates will appear on Chrome’s new tab page. We’ve been working on this for a while & I’m super excited to hear what people think 👇 pic.twitter.com/GUcdSQTv3E
— Adrienne P🎃rter Felt (@__apf__) October 8, 2021
If you’re running Chrome 94 or a pre-stable version, you might already see the Follow button in the menu. Otherwise, as Chrome director of engineering Adrienne Porter Felt wrote on Twitter, you can switch on the feature manually. Go to chrome://flags, search for “web feed” and enable the setting. Although the Follow button is only available on Android for now, Felt suggested it’s coming to iOS next year.
The feature won’t quite have the same level of utility as dedicated RSS readers, of course. It might not make up for the terrible decision to kill Google Reader all those years ago either, but it could be a handy way to stay on top of updates from your favorite websites.
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