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Chrome update will bring Material Design to the web

by Jacob Kleinman | February 1, 2016February 1, 2016 9:00 am PDT

Material Design has been around for a while, bringing a clean modern look to our Android smartphones and Google apps since it was introduced back in 2014. Now Google is finally set to bring the same style to its Chrome desktop browser.

The update is currently included in version 50 of Chrome. We’re on version 49 now, but you can already try out a beta of the next update. However, according to one project member post on Google’s code tracking forums, the new Material Design update is still missing some features and may end up being pushed back a little longer.

Some of the changes currently included in Chrome 50 are pretty subtle. On Google’s homepage the tweaks are small. The classic “hamburger” menu icon becomes three small dots, and the entire page looks a little cleaner.

Other changes include square edges for browser tabs, along with new designs for the infobar, bookmark buttons and security icon. There’s also an all-black version of Incognito mode. Even the scrolling bar has been changed slightly.

Overall all, Material Design for Chrome may not be a huge visual change. Instead, it could bring dozens of small tweaks that you don’t even notice, but still make for a more pleasant and intuitive experience.

There’s no word on when the update will actually hit, but you can try it for yourself right now. Just enter “chrome://flags” into the search bar, find “Material design in the browser top chrome,” pick Material from a list of options, and restart the browser to get a little taste of what’s to come.

TNW Google Code SlashGear

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...