First Phase of MATERIAL DESIGN Refresh for GOOGLE CHROME Browser Now Available in Hidden Settings

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Ever since initial release for internet users in 2008, the Google Chrome web browser has retained a very particular look for its user interface. There is the trademark top portion which eschewed the old title bar and went straight to the browsing tabs, then removing menus and leaving only the address bar/navigation arrows and bookmarks. It was a beautiful minimalist aesthetic that was later copied by other browsers, but Chrome made it so first. Still, that angled look to the tabs has been getting on in years too, but Google has been busy conceptualizing big changes to the Chrome look.

The Verge tells us that certain elements of Google’s Material Design refresh for the desktop and mobile versions of Chrome have started to filter into the “stable release” versions lately. These new design changes have been available since Chrome desktop version 68, though the later version 67 variants managed to get a few alterations too. But the options are as yet hidden behind settings pages that can only be access via the address bar; and what is more, only the desktop and iOS mobile versions have successfully integrated them, so Android users will have to wait for a bit longer.

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But what kind of changes does the Material Design refresh have in store for Google Chrome? Apparently Google may be getting tired of straight edges on some of the user interface elements. Now we have more rounded corners, as might be seen in the address bar and tab headings. The “Add Tab” button was also moved from the right to the left, before all tabs; that might take some getting used to. Colors have also been a bit intensified; the lighter shades of the basic windows have grown whiter still, while the incognito browsing version just went blacker all over.

The iOS Chrome Material Design refresh is a tad more subtle with its alterations. Yes, it gets the rounded address bar too, but for the most part the curvy corners are only visible in the browser window tiling, as above.

For those who would like to try the Material Design refresh scheme, there are only three simple steps. Desktop and iOS users need to type chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md on their address bars. Next, desktop users must change the setting option under “UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome” from default to refresh; iOS users must select “Enabled” under the “UI Refresh Phase 1” option. Then, it only needs a re-launch of Chrome to see the browser’s new brighter/darker colors and rounded look.

The Material Design refresh is not yet completely implemented, so Chrome users have more to look forward to in this time of great new changes.

Images courtesy of 9to5 Google and NDTV Gadgets

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