Google’s Material Design is now on course for a revamp, according to Chromium Gerrit commits that reportedly surfaced recently. The actual commits along with the details have since been pulled although the images (provided by XDA-Developers) shown below reinforce much of what is being said. The sum of which is how Material Design is being prepped for replacement by the all-new ‘Material Design 2.’ While most of the details on this new version of Material Design are fairly limited, the suggestion is this will be more of a refining process than a revolutionary one. In other words, most of the changes will likely only be seen if actively looked for, although their collective impact is designed to further highlight the importance of certain elements. An example of this is in the colors associated with Material Design 2 which while now understood to ‘pop’ more, are not necessarily truer colors than they were before. As while red is likely to be more (and darker) red, the gray will not be due to it adopting more of blueish disposition.
Some of the references suggest tabs in Chrome (and the toolbar in general) is likely where many of the changes will be most notable at first. For example not only will the colors in the tabstrip (where all the tabs are located) be more defining, but the height of the tabstrip (and tabs) will be increased, and the content (width) of tabs ‘adjusted.’ The commit on this also briefly references a “material design 2 tab close button icon” although no further details are provided on this.
While the details are limited, the tab resizing and adjusting may be to do with Google looking to increase their suitability with touch-base devices. As the commits found also highlight that in Chrome the SetStackedLayout option will be enabled by default. This is particularly noteworthy as it suggests the emphasis will be on stacking tabs instead of reducing their width to accommodate additional tabs. An aspect which also reinforces the tab height increase and width adjustment references already mentioned. With only some details coming through, the bigger picture regarding Material Design 2 still remains unclear and so these changes may well be part of much larger changes, or not. If Material Design 2 is to be announced in the coming months, however, it would seem likely Google I/O 2018 would be the place and time for it to happen.