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Google Chrome will be getting itself a makeover

And you can access some of the changes so long as you don’t mind messing with experimental features.

Image: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

GOOGLE HAS been pushing its paper-like art style Material Design onto all of its products since it first revealed it back in 2014.

While many of its products like Android have adopted it, the desktop version of Chrome has remained virtually the same over the past few years.

A redesign is currently in the works and when Chrome version 50 arrives (the latest version available to all users is version 48), it will include Material Design as standard, bringing it more in line with the Android and iOS versions.

The changes may seem subtle but those using the most recent version of Android will recognise them. Among the changes are an all-black incognito mode, a greater focus on animations (for example, ripple-like actions when you click on a link or hold down) and a redesigned web player.

The other deeper changes are how it handles settings. While it breaks up the screen into basic and advanced, a greater focus is placed on security as well as accounts and startup plugins.

SPEC - incognito - NTP Source: Google Code

PREVIEW-video-player Source: Google Code

If you’re feeling a little impatient, you can still get some of the features included with it by going into its experimental features.

Type chrome://flags into the address bar and activate  ’Material design in the browser’s top Chrome’ and ‘Enable Material Design downloads’. There is a third option called ‘Material Design policy page’ but all it does is tell you that the page is under construction.

When you restart your browser, the top part of Chrome will change to complement the new design. You can also go into settings (chrome://md-settings) and the new downloads page (chrome://downloads) to give you an idea of what you’ll get.

Since it’s still under development, some parts of the download page like Wallpaper and People won’t work properly, but you can see how it wants to simplify the page by splitting it up into basic and advanced settings.

Settings Chrome

There’s no word as to when this new version will arrive – version 49 is still in the beta phase – but it’s in the works.

Google originally revealed Material Design back in 2014 during its developer conference Google I/O.

Source: Google Developers/YouTube

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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