Google Chrome is About to Get Prettier

Posted on April 24, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Google with 32 Comments

Google Chrome is About to Get Prettier

Google is planning a Material Design overhaul for the UI of its desktop web browser starting with Chrome version 68. This is a welcome change, given how old-fashioned the browser has started to look, especially in Windows 10.

You can test the look and feel—which, obviously, could change—by downloading the Canary version of Chrome for Windows and configuring a flag called “UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome” in Chrome’s experiment flags page. (Which you can find by navigating to chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md.) Change this flag to “Refresh” and restart the browser, and you’ll see the curvy new look to the tabs.

If you’re familiar with Google’s Material Design, you’ll know that this Metro-like design language has, to date, provided a more rectangular look. But Google is apparently updating Material Design to use curved corners in a coming major update, which will likely be announced at Google I/O. So its appearance in a Chrome version that will ship publicly later this year makes some sense.

Curves, whatever. I like it just because it blends better with the default Windows 10 look and feel in which there is no accent color. In Chrome today, the window has a start white title bar area regardless of whether its focused or not. But with Chrome 68, the title bar area is a nice gray color normally and a slightly lighter gray when the window is not selected. (This was one of the things I really preferred about Edge and Firebox; they just looked better.)

I had heard about this first on 9to5Google, but Neowin notes that you can enable the following other flags to complete the Material Design 2 look and feel:

chrome://flags/#secondary-ui-md
chrome://flags/#enable-message-center-new-style-notification
chrome://flags/#enable-md-bookmarks
chrome://flags/#enable-md-extensions

I’ve not tried these yet, but will do so now.

 

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