Google Chrome’s new Material Design theme rolls out on all platforms

By | 4th September 2018
Google Chrome Material Design 2

If you follow XDA, you’ve probably heard that the Google Chrome web browser would be getting a Google Material Theme UI overhaul sometime this year. We first spotted evidence for this happening back in April. In June, it was possible to enable this new UI with a Chrome flag which no longer became necessary when the new UI was enabled by default in the Canary channel. Today, Google has confirmed that Chrome’s new Material Design theme is rolling out today in the stable channel for Android, Windows, and all other platforms.

Google Chrome’s New Material Design Theme

In general, the new design of Google Chrome features more rounded corners, new icons, and a whiter color palette. We’ve seen other Google apps like Google Contacts and Android Messages receive this visual overhaul, and now it’s Google Chrome’s turn. But a palette swap and new icons aren’t the only changes in Chrome’s UI refresh. Website icons on tabs are easier to read on the desktop. On iOS, the toolbar was moved to the bottom which can be achieved on Android with the Chrome Duet flag.

Google Chrome Material Design 2

Better Autofill and Password Management

If you rely on Google Chrome’s built-in password manager, then you’ll be happy to know that the latest stable update also brings a few usability improvements. Your saved passwords, addresses, and credit card numbers, can be accessed from the Chrome toolbar, as shown in the feature image at the top of the page. Google says that Chrome can recognize sign-in forms more accurately, so you hopefully won’t come across sign-in fields that aren’t recognized. Lastly, Google Chrome can now automatically generate password suggestions so you don’t have to come up with your own passwords.

Google Chrome Material Design 2I’m personally a big fan of KeePass, but I can appreciate Google’s efforts to encourage users to practice better password management.

A Smarter Omnibox

Google Chrome’s Omnibox, its combined search and address bar, will now surface relevant answers to your questions directly in the Omnibox without having to complete a search query. If you’re lazy or open a bunch of tabs, this feature will save you a bit of time so you won’t have to find the answer on Wikipedia or WolframAlpha. The smart Omnibox can also show instant answers to queries like the local weather from weather.com or a translation of a foreign word.

Google Chrome Material Design 2

Here’s a treat for tab hoarders: If you search for a website that’s already open in one of your dozens of tabs, Google Chrome will show a “switch to tab” option that lets you jump straight to that tab. Lastly, Google Chrome’s Omnibox will soon support searching for Google Drive files, as we spotted last month.

Customize the New Tab Page

After testing custom wallpapers from Google Photos and custom shortcuts in the Canary version, Google is now rolling out these features to the stable version of Chrome. The first GIF we posted of the UI refresh shows off these new features.

Under-the-hood Changes

Google Chrome recently started labeling all HTTP websites as insecure, introduced site isolation, and added native ad-blocking. The team is continuing to experiment with Chrome to improve its performance, and we’ll be keeping an eye on the Chromium Gerrit for any changes that we spot.

Happy Birthday, Chrome!

Google has chosen today to make an announcement because of a special occasion: It’s Google Chrome’s 10th birthday! There’s a new birthday edition of the “Offline Dino Game” that’ll be available through September. You can play this game when you try to access Google Chrome while offline.

Moving forward, Chrome promises to integrate Augmented Reality into the web experience. This will allow you to visualize how products will appear in your home. The team is also working on improving their machine language algorithms to combat phishing and malware. Lastly, the Chrome team suggests that the browser will show smarter search results in the future. We don’t have any information about when these initiatives will be completed, but we’re confident that Google will continue to make Chrome a better product. There’s a reason why it’s the number one web browser in the world, after all.