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Chrome Beta adds Reader Mode, v39 rolling out now

Google Chrome Beta for Android v39 app update has begun rolling out. In addition to bug fixes, there is a new Reader Mode, Android L Preview integration and a new animation or two.
October 15, 2014
Chrome Beta v39 Update

Google is pushing out an update to the Chrome Beta app for Android this evening. Chrome Beta v39 brings with it the usual bug fixes and performance enhancements, but this time around we get a new treat, Reader Mode.

As you might guess, Reader Mode will take a webpage and strip it down to the bare essentials, a great way to both ease the task of reading on a small screen and potentially save you some data when on the go.

For those unsure, Chrome Beta is Google’s way of letting us play with some bleeding edge features before they find their way to the standard Chrome browser on most Android devices. It is possible to run both Chrome and Chrome Beta at the same time on Android, just in case you were wondering. Finally, Chrome Beta sees a good number of app updates, and far too many of them include only a vague ‘What’s New’ write up. Like I said above, the typical bug fixes and performance enhancements.

Chrome Beta v39 Reader Mode

With updates usually having little of note to offer, it is great to see not one, but three new evident features. As mentioned, the big one is the Reader Mode, after that we are treated to a new tab dismissal animation. It doesn’t sound like much, but as you swipe a tab to the side it no longer simply travels off the screen, it now reduces in size and goes transparent. For me, this goes beyond aesthetics, as it allows me to easily see the tab below without having to swipe things up and down.

Adding to these tools, it sounds like there is a Chrome://flag that can be turned on to put a Reader Mode button in your toolbar. Look for #enable-reader-mode-toolbar-icon.

Finally, Google would be remiss to skip Android L enhancements, what with “L” expected to launch within hours. Chrome Beta now works within windowed mode on Android L Preview.

The update is rolling out to devices now, or head on into the Google Play Store to grab a fresh copy. Remember Chrome Beta is, well, beta, not everything you see here will make to to stable release Chrome, nor is everything here guaranteed to actually work.

Give it a go and be sure to let us know if you find any extra goodies in there that we may have missed. Are you a Chrome Beta user, or do you stick with the stable release?