Ever since the first developer preview of Android P landed back in March, we have been hearing a lot of chatter of a revamped Material Design 2 interface. We have seen code commits about the design on Chromium Gerrit earlier this month, but it now appears like Google is giving us a first look at this new design in Chrome Canary for Windows.
The redesigned material design UI is not activated by default and you’ll need to enable the experimental ‘chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md’ flag by selecting the ‘Refresh’ option from the drop-down. You then need to restart Chrome Canary for the changes to take effect.
Note: I tried enabling the flag on Chrome Canary (version 68) on Windows 10 and it worked perfectly fine. The new material design changes have not rolled out to Chrome Canary on macOS.
Once Chrome restarts, you’ll notice that everything looks a lot more rounded and clean. This falls in line with Google’s recent shift towards rounded UI elements, as compared to the rectangles and parallelograms in previous iterations.
The browser has retained its dark gray background and white colored tabs, but now the parallelogram-shaped tabs are replaced with a rounded rectangular design. You’ll also find that the address bar is now rounded on both sides, similar to the UI we have seen Google test on Chrome for Android.
The design changes have also trickled down into the ‘Secure’ certificate icon, which on hovering now shows you a pill-shaped button. You can click on it to see the certificate info and permissions granted to a website.
In this design, the profile icon has been moved to the toolbar next to the address bar.
I really liked the new rounded and cleaner UI of Chrome, which now falls in line with the other test versions of the browser. However, I feel like Google should also work towards making the overflow menus seem more in line with the new design, as they are currently sharp-edged and do not match the rounded aesthetic.
It is currently unclear whether this is going to the final design, but it looks like Google is headed in the right direction with these changes. Do you think the same? Let us know in the comments below.