Google’s Material Design guidelines have been around for a couple years now and have gone a long way to giving apps on Android smartphones and tablets a more consistent look and feel. The idea of a flatter landscape has slowly worked its way into things like web design as well. One place where a change has not taken place has largely been on the desktop. Although users may benefit from Material enhancements to sites they visit, the actual Chrome browser itself has not seen any significant updates to the interface to bring Material design to the desktop. That looks like it may change soon as developers have started discussions on rollout plans and recent builds of the Chrome browser even include some of the code already.
Depending on how much you care about this kind of thing, users can turn on some of the new Material-influenced features now through Chrome’s flag system for setting parameters. This includes what will likely be the biggest visual change, adjustments to the main Chrome bar and tabs. The next design looks like it will make use of square edges for tabs and the “hamburger” menu button will be replaced with a three dot overflow button. Infobars, the security icon and the bookmark button also get an overhaul.
Sources have noted that Google appears to be planning to implement an all black design for the incognito mode. Users also note many features like the scroll bars and a variety of icons and buttons are getting an overhaul.
Google is also working on changes to pages like the Settings page, the Downloads page, the Extensions page and the History page. For the pages that can be access with the new code, you will definitely see the increased use of “cards” to present and organize information.
The Google coders also appear to be working on a new version of the media player included in the Chrome browser and have already rolled this out for Chrome OS.
You can hit the second link to The Next Web below for some detailed instructions on enabling several of these new settings now. For the settings that actually impact the browser itself as opposed to one of the pages, it looks like the flags only work on Windows or Chrome OS while OSX users will have to wait.