Chrome on Android: a “Follow” button that tries to bring Google Reader back to life

Will you soon be able to use Google Chrome to subscribe to RSS feeds? In any case, this is what the Mountain View firm was plancking a few months ago by launching a Follow button in the Canary version of Chrome. Activating this button allows you to subscribe to the RSS feed for the domain consulted. All the sites monitored in this way are then accessible from a dedicated section displayed when a new tab is opened.

This project seems to be moving forward since Google has just integrated it into the latest stable version of Chrome on Android. The function, which is not available by default requires the activation of a flag, accessible via the address chrome://flags/#web-feed. After activating it and restarting Chrome, the button is present in the main Chrome menu when you visit a website.

If the button is displayed well and can be activated on the visited sites, the function, which is still in the experimental stage, seems to work only on certain Web sites. This is the case, for example, with the New York Times. When you activate the option Follow when arriving on a Web site, it takes care of going to retrieve itself the URL of the associated RSS feed.

Unfortunately, on the French websites that we tested, none were subsequently accessible in the dedicated section. It is therefore possible that a voluntary action on the part of the editors is necessary for the flow to appear correctly in Chrome.

If the idea of ​​using Google Chrome as an RSS feed reader is not completely stupid, its integration in its current form seems rather to burden Chrome with yet another function that will remain unused. The rehabilitation of the late Google Reader would undoubtedly have been more judicious to offer users an independent curation tool, clear and easy to master.

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