Google Chrome 75 released with secret Reader Mode

Google has released today version 75 of its Chrome browser, available for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, Mac, and Windows.

The vast majority of the new features and changes in Chrome 75 are centered around adding new internal APIs and updating existing features.

But while Chrome 75 is lacking in terms of user-facing features compared to previous versions, today’s release isn’t a complete wasteland.

The big feature included with Chrome 75 is the addition of a hidden Reader Mode, similar to the one included with Firefox.

This new Reader Mode is not active by default and must be turned on using one of Google Chrome’s experimental flags — which until recently has only been available in the Chrome Canary distribution.

To enable and test Chrome’s new Reader Mode, users must visit the chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode section, and enable the Reader Mode option, as in the screenshot below.

Chrome Reader Mode flag

Image: ZDNet

Once the Reader Mode flag is set to “Enabled,” a restart will be required before users can enter a page’s Reader Mode.

While Reader Mode can be used on any page, it works better with news stories and large text-based content. To use it, users must click the top-right Chrome dropdown menu and select the “Distill page” option.

Chrome Reader Mode menu option

Image: ZDNet

Once enabled, a “distilled” page looks like the image below:

Chrome Reader Mode

Image: ZDNet

Besides the addition of a hidden Reader Mode, Google engineers have also fixed a security bug known as the ‘evil cursor’ bug, which had been abused by tech support scam sites last year.

Users who’d like to learn more about the other new features added in the Chrome 75 release can check out the following links:

  • Chrome security updates are detailed here.
  • Chromium open-source browser changes are detailed here.
  • Google engineers detail some of the most important developer-centric changes here.
  • All the Chrome 75 developer-centric deprecations and feature removals are here.
  • Chrome for Android updates are detailed here. [not yet public]
  • Changes to Chrome V8 JavaScript engine are available here.

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