Google Chrome Gets A Big Material Design Makeover, Here's How To Try It On Windows, Linux And macOS

Google's dominate Chrome web browser is set to receive a big Material Design makeover later this year. However, if you want to give a try right now, you can do so by downloading the latest build of Chrome Canary. For those not in the know, Canary is the developmental branch of Chrome where new features are tested before they roll out widely to the public.

As you can see in the image below, this is a total revamp of the browser, with a completely new address bar and look for the tabs interface. Tabs have a more rounded shape and colors have been refreshed through the UI. 

chrome canary

"Plenty of things have been updated for the better in my opinion: tab shape, single tab mode, omnibox suggestion icons, tab strip coloring, pinned tabs, and alert indicators," writes François Beaufort, who is Google's Chromium evangelist.

We should note that this latest build of Chrome Canary (69.0.3488.0) enables the Material Design UI by default for Windows, Linux and Chrome OS. Previously, it was only enabled by default on Windows systems. The Material Design look is also available to macOS users, but you will have to go through two additional steps to enable it. You will have to set the following two experimental flags:

  • chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md which will need to be set to "Refresh" and
  • chrome://flags/#views-browser-windows which must to be set to "Enable

Once you do this, the browser will need to be restarted, and you'll then be able to enjoy the same Material Design found on the aforementioned operating systems. Beaufort warns that you may "stumble upon bugs" with this release given its experimental nature and that it should only be used by developers and early adopters.

You can download the newest version of Chrome Canary for Windows, Linux, Chrome OS and macOS right here.