Thursday, August 20, 2015

Material Design Implementation Has Begun on Google Chrome Desktop Browser

Material Design was announced back in June of 2014, and is Google's latest visual design language. It aims to provide good design with innovation that gives users a unified experience across platforms.

Google has slowly been implementing Material Design to all their products. We seen changes most notably on Android Lollipop, Google Now, recently to the YouTube app (iOS update coming soon), Google's Inbox mail app, Google Drive and Google Docs, and the Chrome web browser on iOS and Android.

Now work has also begun to implement the Material Design look and feel to the Google Chrome web browser. While at the moment the changes are still very minimal, users and developers who want to check out and follow the changes can do so on the Developer Google Chrome Canary channel.

Note, Google Chrome Canary, is a developer build and is not recommended for use by the general public, and definitely not for everyday use. Only install, if you are familiar with very beta software and understand the risks.

Chrome Canary on Windows 7
To check out the changes in-progress to add Material Design on Google Chrome, type: Chrome://flags into your address/search bar. Then search for Material Design and look for "Material design in the browser's top Chrome". There will be a drop down with a few options; Non-material (standard), Material, and Material Hybrid (a mix of the two).

The biggest changes so far are on the Chrome OS version, with some new flatter buttons, but even on Windows 7 you can see small changes like extra spacing around the navigation buttons.

Remember, this is a work in progress, so expect a lot more to change in the future. Nothing here is anywhere near final.

At the moment, it seems the Material Design changes for Google Chrome are being worked on for Windows, Chrome OS, and Linux. But, I'd expect changes to Mac OS X as well, sometime in the future.

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