Google’s mobile operating system went through a major visual overhaul roughly two years ago, when Android 5.0 Lollipop introduced a new design language called “Material Design” (previously codenamed “Quantum Paper”). The idea was to create a fresher user interface for Android which was largely based on the “card” concept introduced with Google Now. Material Design not only reshaped the Android operating system’s panels and menus, but also introduced responsive animations, depth effects through lighting and shadows, and overall a user interface that is more pleasant to look at and utilize. These changes have been well received by users, and the good news is that Material Design won’t be limited only to smartphones. The same design language will also be applied to Google’s Chrome web browser, and some of the upcoming features can now be experienced by brave users willing to download the latest version of Chrome Canary 51.
Certain Material Design features for Chrome have been made available on Linux Chrome and Chromium beta builds before, but now the new Chrome Canary 51 update brings a wider range of visual changes and upgrades to Chrome users on Windows OS. The latest Chrome Canary 51 update introduces a number of changes that fall into the Material Design language, and the changelog includes a translucent tab bar which allows background applications to peak through, reshaped tabs with sharp edges as opposed to rounded ones, and a completely new design for Chrome’s “Downloads”, “Settings”, “History” and “Extensions” pages. In addition, the hamburger icon normally found at the top-right corner of any Chrome window has been replaced by a “three-vertical-dots” button, and Incognito mode will now feature a black background. Last but not least, new additions to developer tools allow for more visual tweaks and give access to “dark mode”.
The latest Chrome Canary 51 build is now available for download on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and Windows 10 64-bit. Google warns users that the latest build is primarily designed for developers and early adopters, so if you are not willing to use a potentially buggy web browser then you might be better off waiting for the official public release. As yet, Google estimates that a stable Chrome Canary 51 build will be available starting May 31st, but tentative launch dates are obviously not set in stone and should be treated as such.