Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Ever wonder what 'reading mode' was for?

Over the last year or 2 I've seen a 'reading mode' mentioned as a new browser feature, that clears away clutter & just presents the user with the page content. Now I normally run ad-blockers on my own computers, and usually my pages are uncluttered with moving, flashing, irritating content and I've been wondering who would actually care about such a feature.

So about 3 months ago my 'own' laptop arrived, provided by Oxford Innovation using their standard build. No ad blockers by default, and I'd decided to leave it that way.

Suddenly I get reading mode.

It converts Tech Radar's hideous monstrosity of a review site buried in flashing adverts and unexpectedly playing videos into something pleasantly readable without ghastly distractions. TR has been one of my go-to review sites in the past, but without ad blockers the useful content gets buried in pulsating visual faeces and it's simply horrible to view. It was so bad that I'd often prefer not to bother unless I was feeling especially focussed and robust that day.

Perhaps this is the browser designer's answer to adverts? It made me feel like I had my browser back.

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