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If you use Chrome, check out these changes

Do you use Google’s Chrome browser? Well, you definitely are not alone. The browser’s global market share just keeps on growing and it’s not even close. Currently, it has steadily increased its market share to over 57 percent of the market, beating Safari, Firefox, Microsoft’s Edge and Internet Explorer, and Opera by a wide margin.

People mostly like Chrome because of its speed, multi-platform integration, user-friendliness, third-party extensions, incognito mode and its clean and simplified design. It also has ample privacy and security tools you can employ to protect yourself while browsing the web.

Despite this lead, Google is not resting on its laurels. The company is currently working on a new redesign of Chrome. Why fix something that’s not broken, you may ask? Well, because they can. Chrome is due for a makeover, anyway.

Read on and let’s explore what this redesign has in store for us.

Material Design 2

Google has just rolled out a sneak peek at the new look of its Chrome browser. The new redesign can now be activated in the latest Chrome Canary build by turning on the corresponding experimental “Refresh” UI Layout flag. (Complete steps below.)

The redesign is based on its Material Design 2 aesthetic and it will bring subtle design changes including a new rounded address bar, rounded tab edges, and a new open tab button.

While the current angular look of Chrome is not bad at all, the rounded elements are in line with Google’s push for a softer design aesthetic across its products such as Gmail, Android, and YouTube.

Softer tabs

Open tabs will soon shed their sharp edges and will be replaced with softer looking sections with rounded corners. Instead of boundaries separating the tabs, they all seem to merge with each other, resulting in a much cleaner and less cluttered look.

To highlight the active tab, Google employs light and dark shading effects instead of hard and prominent lines.

New menu bar

The default menu bar also looks cleaner with fewer buttons and rounded edges. In lieu of a boxy strip, the address bar is now pill-shaped and is likewise highlighted by shading effects instead of hard lines.

Hovering over the security lock will reveal another pill-shaped section used for viewing a site’s security information.

Additionally, default buttons have been moved around. The home button is now disabled by default and the Google account icon was moved from the upper-right corner to the right side of the address bar.

To open a new tab, a simple “plus” icon will now be used instead of that old, chunky parallelogram button.

Change is good

Chrome has been using the same UI design since 2015 so this new Material Design 2 refresh is definitely a welcome change.

This new look is also in line with Google’s planned overhaul of Gmail that’s coming very soon.

For comparison, here’s the current (and old) Chrome design:


And here’s the new look:


How to activate Chrome’s new look

The new Material Design 2 Refresh UI for Chrome is now available in Chrome Canary Version 68 for Windows (not available for Mac yet).

Note: Google provides beta versions of their popular Chrome browser and you don’t even have to join a beta program.

Just go to their Chrome Release Channels page and download the desired release channel (or simply Google search for Chrome Canary). In this case, install the Canary release.

Keep in mind that Chrome’s Canary builds have not been tested or used yet and it’s recommended that you backup your Chrome profile and preferences before installing.

Here’s how you activate the new design. Once the Chrome Canary build is installed, paste this into the address bar: chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md then navigate to the page.

Now on the first item, “UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome,” select “Refresh” in the drop-down box then restart your browser.

That’s it. Enjoy Google Chrome’s new makeover!

Have a question about the Chrome browser? Kim has your answer! Click here to send Kim a question, she may use it and answer it on her radio show. The Kim Komando Show is broadcast on over 450 stations. Click here to find the show time in your area. 

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