Google’s Chrome browser has always been a very powerful one since it was released on 2008. It now supports extensions and apps within the browser and it syncs its opened tabs across many platforms. Its logo has been changed dramatically from a glossy bright sphere with metallic elements to a much flatter one keeping the same color palette and now with the Material Design that Android has adopted, the icon for the mobile apps is now even flatter, with some shadows that create a sense of depth. Still, the overall design of the browser hasn’t changed as much. Sure, some buttons have changed their appearance and some unnecessary lines were removed as well as the plus sign on the new tab button, but it looks almost identical as when it was first released.
Since Google has been using that new design language across all of its products, it has been reported that the browser could feature a makeover using the same design guidelines. The change was spotted in the dev channel release of the browser, where an option can be found to use “material design elements in the browser’s top chrome”. Since this is still an experimental feature, there’s an option to use full material, hybrid or standard looks. The Settings page, History, and Downloads are also said to be getting some of these transformations inspired by the cards design of Google Now.
The changes from the Material look to the Standard one are subtle, but they look a little cleaner and more modern. The toolbar and URL box now look more spacious, but those elements have not increased their size, the icons and other items have been spaced wider instead. The font on the address bar looks a little lighter and it is said that the size of the font is smaller on the full material look. The iconography has also changed, now it looks thinner and they have removed the shadows that made them look as if they were engraved. The “on press” effect is also said to be removed, possibly another animation will be used. To enable these options just paste chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md on a new tab and look for the options on a drop-down menu. This, being an experimental feature could end up looking different on the final editions, but it gives us an idea on what Google is working for their browser.