Speedreader Feedback

In Brave Browser Desktop 1.28.105, we are rolling out our latest updates to our Speedreader feature. Brave Beta and Nightly users may have already seen the Reader mode and Speedreader prompts in the address bar. A description of the feature can be found in Help Center → https://support.brave.com/hc/en-us/articles/360045031392

We’re looking for additional feedback to see if websites you are viewing are being speed read properly – whether the pages are speed read correctly, not at all, or if the speed read page appears broken.

We’d also love to hear your feature requests. We’ll be adding the ability to change fonts, sizing, and switch to dark mode in future updates of Speedreader.

6 Likes

Brave v1.28.105

brave://settings/appearance shows no entries whatsoever. Settings shows options for “Get Started”, skips “Appearance”, and next displays options for “New Tab Page”…

I remember — in an earlier version of Brave — toggling “reader” mode to “on” and trying it on a few https://www.bbc.com/news pages for which the reader mode “worked”. In quotes because IMHO — Brave doing its thing — the native page displayed just fine. IMHO with Brave’s generic intervention, the “reader”-modified page was less-readible than unmodified. Currently (with v1.28.105) I see no option — either in “Settings” or in the omnibox — to toggle the reader mode.

2 Likes

Developers added such a toggle, it’s available in Beta and Nightly, shouldn’t take long until it arrives in Stable too.

You can see the design over here:

Can confirm I’m on nightly. And the speedreader toggle works superb!

I’m running V1.29.77 (Sep 3, 2021) Stable.
The option is not present. Does it still only on Beta and Nightly?

Updating this / echoing a comment I posted in another thread: Going to brave://flags/ I’ve had varied experience editing the options. Relevant to my earlier comment about Appearance not … appearing in my settings, checking brave://flags/ I saw I’d disabled New Tab Page Branded Wallpapers and New Tab Page Demo Branded Wallpapers. It seems this is why the entire Appearance section of Settings disappeared on my installations. Restoring these two flags to default, Settings | Appearance reappeared. Toward the bottom of Settings | Appearance, there’s a switch for Speedreader. Default is off. If you switch this to on, Speedreader will automatically distill pages it can process. That’s not what I want, but the option is available.

More info here: What Is Speedreader?

Feedback. I thought I was a prisoner of some deep state format because articles were popping without access to commenting. I just figured out that speed reader was on the whole system. I may have activated it without noticing.
Remarks, I live the idea of a clutter-less page, I appreciate the format but:

  1. Authors name should be available plus the web-page’s name even in this mod. This could be dependent of participants choices of formatting I don’t know, but something to be considered.
  2. i had problem adjusting the size of the page, smaller or larger, it appeared to be jammed at a certain gigantic font.
  3. Formatting, for some reason, could have been associated with size of font, often the text is squeezed to the left, with some letters hidden beyond the screen border, and the same problem with the title with the first line half disappearing at the top
  4. I did notice the button appearing on the URL when disengaging the automatic feature. Good. On the other hand t would be appreciate that somewhere on top of the page something says like: You are in Speedreader Mode, or your are using Speedreader…
    Thank you.
1 Like

I was confused by SpeedReader. I clicked on the Reader icon, there was a toggle so I clicked it without reading (I know, bad, but most users are like me anyway), and was in SpeedReader mode; every article was bare, and I thought there were rendering issues with Brave or my extensions (not realizing I was in reader mode, which works just fine). When I clicked the Reader Mode icon, it didn’t switch the article back to normal mode.

Honestly I think you’ll end up with a lot of confused average users over this. How I’d implement:

  • The first time a user visits an article with Brave, flash have a little blue highlight around the reader icon that attracts your attention, a little like how Chrome presents the tab group feature to users (don’t just make the reader icon blue, people won’t notice especially in dark mode)
  • Make sure it’s clear in the reader mode popup that speedreader and reader mode are different things; ideally have the toggle for speedreader in a different place, add a gears/settings icon in the upper left or upper right when viewing an article in Reader Mode for example, where you can toggle speedreader, have a print button, change font options button, etc in a column on the side. But putting both features in the same menu is confusing, especially when you’re asking me to turn on perma-Reader mode the very first time I ever use reader mode (and therefore don’t even know what I’m turning on)
  • Make sure if I’m in reader mode, and click on the reader mode icon, it toggles me back to the real webpage, regardless of whether speedreader is on. Right now clicking on the reader mode icon when already in reader mode does nothing.
  • Make sure if I can toggle something on from a menu, I can toggle it off from that menu; if you put the toggle in the reader mode icon, keep it there to turn it off.
  • Make it clear when the webpage is in reader mode, so users don’t get confused by where the comments went, in case they don’t know they turned on speedreader, or don’t know comments go away with reader mode.

edit: apparently (https://support.brave.com/hc/en-us/articles/360045031392), clicking on reader mode again should allow me to switch back, so that was probably a bug (I’m on the latest Brave [1.31.88 Chromium: 95.0.4638.69 (Official Build) (arm64)]). The rest of my feedback still stands.

I enjoy the speedreader feature so far, however I read a lot of mathematics heavy content and it doesn’t seem to translate LaTeX equations. Adding equation viewing support would really enhance my experience. I appreciate that this may go against the purpose of the feature, but for my my reading would be speedier if I saw the equations instead of having to interpret the TeX.

Would love ability to change background color! Just a simple dark mode would work.

2 Likes

just simply Amazing and fast thanks to developers to do making good effort
thanks
govtjobs

I agree this 100% needs color control. It’s a great feature…so long as it’s not setting your eyeballs on fire with a massive white screen…

What is odd is in Brave I have Brave Colors set to dark yet the speed reader does not adhere to what should be a global UI setting.

Well, while Brave adds more customization to speedreader, what you can do is use adblocker to customize the speedreader page.

This is an example what you can do with it, but you can change pretty much anything around in a website with Brave’s adblocker, speedreader creates a “id=article” so it makes it easy as long as those websites aren’t using the id=article.

Examples:
ghacks.net###article:style(font-family: "Lucida Console", "Courier New", monospace !important; font-size: larger; color: crimson;)
ghacks.net###article:style(background-color:black;text-align:-webkit-center;max-width:100% !important;)

It would be easier if Brave supported procedural cosmetics has or has-text to select better the article ID or the other elements. but this is the workaround I use while Brave adds the necessary stuff to make it easier.

Notes:

  1. You can add more domains, and just separate domains with a comma: Example1.com,example2.com,example3.com,etc.
    Then all of them will use the same rules.

  2. I created two rules for the sake of organization (one for fonts and the other for background), but since they affect the same element, you could write them in the same line ghacks.net###article:style(font-family: "Lucida Console", "Courier New", monospace !important; font-size: larger; color: crimson; background-color:black;text-align:-webkit-center;max-width:100% !important;) and it will work just the same.

  3. !important is necessary if you are modifying a css property that already exists. Since font type and background width already existed, then, that’s why !important was needed there.
    You can check what property is getting omitted anyway in the devtools. They would be found in the injected stylesheet, so if something gets dashed then you know it needs the !important since something is taking priority before Brave’s adblocker style.

Pretty easy. But of course, it will be better if it comes out of the box eventually, but as a workaround it works fine, even without all the features uBlock supports like procedural stuff.
I guess most people will just need to change background and color font but I decided to make it more obvious what you can do with it.

Or use something like midnightlizard but this still breaks basic UI consistency when the browser is set to dark. Years ago I reported the same with the options and various menu items that would just randomly blind you. It’s all fun and games until you have 12 monitors blasting white in your face trying to light you on fire.

It’s rather boggling how this seems to be a reoccurring issue where the UI doesn’t adhere to itself much less the OS/users choice. Though I suppose you could go farther by saying it’s sad we need a feature because the web has become a such a dumpster fire. “Features” are focused on undoing the idiotic design choices and evil lurking in the vast majority of the web.