Why it matters to you
Google’s Chrome browser for iOS is taking a page from Safari — literally. The Chrome 57 beta for Apple’s mobile devices has introduced Reading List, a feature users of the iOS stock browser have enjoyed for quite a while, according to a report from 9to5Mac.
Chrome’s implementation appears to be iOS-exclusive for now, as Reading List is nowhere to be found in the recently released update to the desktop version of the app. Third-party Chrome extensions have provided a similar service to PC users for some time, though one of the key benefits of the feature on Safari is the ability to sync content between multiple devices. This would indicate that first-party support should eventually arrive on Chrome on other platforms as well.
More: Google makes Chrome for iOS open source
Reading List on Safari allows users to save entire web pages for offline viewing. It’s not quite the same as apps like Pocket or Instapaper, as those automatically present pages in a streamlined, uniform reading-friendly format, akin to news apps. However, Safari does allow users to automatically convert most sites to reader view when opened, which achieves a similar presentation, albeit with less customization than those purpose-built apps.
Reading List on Chrome appears to behave similarly to how it does in Safari, while adding a useful element. Pages are automatically separated between those you have and haven’t read, making it easier to keep track of your favorite links. The feature can be accessed through Chrome’s menu represented by the three dots at the top-right corner of the app. The menu also shows the number of unread articles next to the Reading List option.
Users of the stable version of Chrome on iOS can expect to see the feature roll out very soon. Other changes in the upcoming release are vulnerability patches and improvements to help developers scale sites to multiple display sizes. The Android version has its share of exclusive updates as well, like expanded media notifications and minor changes to the recently released Progressive Web Apps feature.