Google starts testing RSS support in Chrome on Android along with new widgets

The Search giant has started testing a couple of new features for the Android version of their Chrome browser. One of the is the "Follow" feature, which is literally a simplified user interface for the good old RSS. It allows you to "follow" frequently visited websites, bringing their latest updates right to the start page. Another change is a set of new widgets for the Android Home screen.

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Chrome on Android already includes a few widgets, available when the browser is installed on your phone. They include a search widget that redirects your search terms to the Google web search engine. Another widget is a bookmark widget. The latter provides your with fast access to your bookmarked web pages and sites.

What Google is working on are an extra widgets, already available in the Beta channel. Those are as follows.

  • A compact search widgets with a few extra actions. It comes with camera and microphone icons, along with the incognito button.
  • One more search widget that includes a button to launch the built-in Dino game.
  • Finally, there is a widget that only launches the Dino game.

Chrome 96 New Widgets

All the three new widgets are hidden by default. To access them, you need to turn on two flags, chrome://flags#enable-quick-action-search-widget-android and chrome://flags#enable-quick-action-search-widget-android-dino-variant. Paste the flag URIs into the address bar of the Chrome Beta for Android.

Finally, the RSS subscription feature, which I personally consider more valuable, is currently under a limited testing. It allows you to add your own news to the New tab/Start page of the browser by following the sites that support an RSS feed. When you open such a site in the Chrome browser, you will find a new item, follow, in the main menu of the app.

Google Chrome Follow RSS ItemGoogle RSS Subscription On Start Page Following Section

The similar functionality will be soon available for the Desktop version of Google Chrome. Unfortunately, Google didn’t reveal exact dates. (Image and credits: XDA)

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