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Google’s always cookin’ up something new for its Chrome browser, and if you dig around in the right places, you can often treat yourself to the latest and greatest goodies days, weeks, or sometimes even months before they’re released.
One such gem is lurking deep within the browser’s bowels and waiting to be uncovered as we speak. It’s a snazzy new Reading List feature that lets you save articles you want to read later directly within Chrome and then pull ’em up whenever, right there in your browser. Handy, no?
This one is technically part of the current Chrome 86 version that rolled out recently, but even though you can make it appear in that version of Chrome, it isn’t actually working for me there just yet. To check it out right now, you’ll probably need to download the standalone Chrome Beta app, which is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux and runs right alongside your regular Chrome browser without replacing it. (On Chromebooks, unfortunately, you have to make a more complicated switch to the system-wide beta channel to get to that same place — probably not something most folks need to mess with — or install the Linux version of the Chrome Beta browser, which also isn’t exactly simple. Blergh.)
Once you’ve got Chrome Beta in front of you, type chrome:flags into its address bar, then type Read Later into the search box at the top of the screen that comes up. See the item labeled “Read Later”? Click the button next to it, change its setting to “Enabled,” and then follow the prompt to restart your browser.
When it comes back up, open any web page you want and right-click the page’s title, in the tab at the top. Look closely, and you’ll see a nifty new option in the menu that pops up:
Woohoo! Click that bad boy, and just like that, the page will close itself and then show up in a new “Reading list” section at the right side of the bookmark bar. (If you don’t see the bookmark bar, hit Ctrl-Shift-B to enable it.)
All you’ve gotta do is click on any page you’ve saved to open it — and once you do, it’ll automatically mark itself as read in the list and move down into a separate section.
Chrome’s new Reading List feature doesn’t seem to be available on the mobile front just yet, but all signs suggest it’ll make its way there eventually. For now, you can enjoy your early preview of it on the desktop and keep an eye out as it continues to develop.