Google is working on a new “Read Aloud” feature for Chrome. It would make your browser read aloud web articles for you. Since some competing apps already have a similar feature, including Microsoft Edge, the company seems to be hurrying to roll it out to the public. The tool, which is still in the development stage, can now highlight sentences when reading articles.
The new Chrome tool has been in development for some time now. Google rolled out the Read Aloud feature to the Canary channel for early testing in late August. The initial implementation was expectedly very basic, but it got the job done. A couple of weeks later, the company added the ability to change the playback speed when reading. The top toolbar has a dedicated button that lets you switch between eight different speeds ranging from 0.5x to 4x.
The latest update now brings another useful element to the tool. Spotted by X user @Leopeva64, Read Aloud in Chrome can now highlight sentences as they are read. Sentences that have been read are faded out. This helps users easily track the reading progress without constantly looking at the screen. Meanwhile, if you’re using the screen and find the highlighting of sentences distracting, you can turn it off.
The button to turn off sentence highlighting sits next to the speed controller. It’s non-functional currently, but Google should soon make it work. The top toolbar also has buttons to change the font size, background color, and more. Read Aloud in Chrome will add support for changing the narrator’s voice as well. We still don’t have a timeline for the public rollout of this feature, though. Hopefully, Google won’t delay its release much longer.
Google Chrome will let you customize the theme color
Google Chrome has a built-in feature that lets you customize the theme color to match the colors of the New Tab Page’s (NTP) wallpaper. However, it currently only works with wallpapers from the “Customize Chrome” panel. The latest update for Chrome Canary now expands support to images saved on your computer as well. This will give you a more personalized browsing experience.
Both of these changes should reach the stable version of Chrome in the coming weeks. As usual, your browser will notify you when a new update is available. You can also manually check for updates from the Settings menu under the ellipsis button (three vertical dots in the top right corner). Now click on “About Chrome” to see if you have an update available. Note that you’ll need to relaunch Chrome to install updates.
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