This story is being continuously updated…
Original story (published on March 29) follows:
Google Chrome v89 brought about a bunch of changes when it made to the stable branch early this month, but perhaps the greatest one was the new Reading List feature.
For the uninitiated, the feature creates a new section where users can dump readable material for reading later. Or it can just be used as an alternative for the traditional bookmarks for archiving purposes.
Anyway, there was a flaw in its implementation that led to plenty of negative feedback from users. We even held a poll regarding the same and found that most users either didn’t like it or had already disabled it.
The flaw was that it had been placed in the bookmarks bar which according to users didn’t look neat and ate up too much space. This valuable space could otherwise be used for additional bookmarks.
And it was because of this minor setback that the feature received plenty of backlash. Thankfully, the feature is still under its early experimental stages and hence can be disabled from Chrome Flags.
However, a new addition now promises to address this issue once and for all. It is currently in the Chrome Canary branch, but should be made available to Chrome Beta, and finally merge into the stable branch in the coming weeks.
Chrome Canary’s latest update brings forward a new option to hide the Reading List from the bookmarks bar. This can be done simply by right-clicking on the bookmarks bar to bring up the context menu. The patch was merged yesterday.
But that’s not the end of the story. Google is also testing something called “Side panel”, which if activated from Flags, automatically moves the Reading List to the Chrome toolbar beside the address bar.
This indicates that Google may do away with the Reading List option from the bookmarks bar and instead move it to the toolbar atop. This will effectively eliminate the need for an option to hide Reading List from the bookmarks bar altogether.
Chromium devs could merge this change into the stable version with a small update soon, so users won’t have to wait until Chrome v91 to use this option (Chrome Canary is always two steps ahead of stable and is currently on v91).
If you can’t wait, then you are of course free to take the latest Chrome Canary build for a spin from this link.
Update 22 (April 22)
And the user feedback has been taken well.
Google has officially confirmed that based on the feedback regarding the Reading list taking too much space on the Bookmarks bar, they’ve decided to give users the option to hide it. Here’s what a company employee said:
We appreciate all of the feedback that you’ve shared letting us know that you would like to have an option to hide the Reading List feature from the Bookmark bar.
Based on your feedback we have added the ability to show or hide the Reading List to the Bookmark menu, so now you’ll be able to hide the Reading list if you’d like to. In order to update your Reading list settings, right click on the Bookmark bar > uncheck ‘Show Reading List’.
You can always add the Reading List back to your Bookmark bar by rechecking the ‘Show Reading List’ option in the Bookmark bar menu.
In order to see this new option please make sure you’re on the latest version of Chrome
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