The stable variation of Chrome 69 is now planned to begin its rollout on September 4, bringing with it Material Design standards and more according to the official M69 Chrome Enterprise Release Notes. While the documentation in question typically applies to the ‘enterprise’ variation of Chrome, that doesn’t mean the updates won’t be seen everywhere. The changelog itself does mostly highlight differences that will be interesting to admins and users in the enterprise space. However, the ‘M’ designation actually indicates a “milestone” update, with the changes being scheduled for every stable channel and installation of Chrome. That means that the document does include some noteworthy changes for all users on the platform. First and foremost, Material Design 2.0 is finally set to land on non-Chrome OS devices in the stable channel. That means users on Android and desktop platforms should finally receive a more circular URL bar and squared off tab design, as well as rounded corners on the three-dot menu in the top-right-hand corner.
On desktop platforms, the UI will now match Android in terms of color, showing in bright white. More subtly, search suggestions appearing from the URL bar will only stretch from one edge of that to the other whereas it used to stretch across the entire browser window. Logged in accounts will show users’ avatar or profile picture in addition to the account name, hidden under the account icon on the right-hand side of the URL bar. Windows 10 users will additionally notice notification-center integration and new touchpad navigation controls. On Android, the notification shade will now be recolored when in Chrome in order to blend together with the already white user interface of the app. One exception to the Material Design changes is Chrome OS, which started seeing Material Design 2.0 in version 67. More of those should be turned on by default with version 68 and Chrome 69 but the notes primarily point to other platforms. In the meantime, any of those platforms can get some of those changes early by turning on select flags in Chrome 68 and the developer-oriented versions of Chrome 69.
The changelog also notes at least a few other incoming implementations that will impact all users. For example, Flash is being depreciated by Adobe. From Chrome 69 and going forward, users will need to enable flash for any site using it, every time they restart Chrome. That will remain the case until it’s phased out completely in 2020. On Chrome OS, the update will include Linux (Beta) for Chromebooks will be implemented on any supported device. Voice dictation will be added as a standalone feature for use anywhere in the system as well. Users will be able to click on a desktop icon or press “Search+D” and then dictate text into any text field. Text-to-speech accessibility settings can also be adjusted starting from Chrome 69, including pitch, language, rate, and voice. For more Android-like features, Chrome OS will also be receiving the mobile platform’s “night light” mode, which changes screen tint and color temperature to help with eyestrain. Those settings can also be customized.