Icons Drive This Incoming Overflow Menu Redesign In Chrome For Android

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The main Chrome overflow menu on Android is about to get a serious visual makeover that places the focus on readability complete with new icons. For clarity, that's the menu tucked behind the three-dot icon at the top-right-hand side of Chrome. The change, spotted by Twitter user @eerdnecm and reported by Android Police, is about more than just icons though.

While not entirely reorganized, for starters, the organization of the menu is playing a key role in alterations. Namely, Google is keeping its spacing the same but placing category-like breaks between some items. That's in addition to a font that seems a bit bolder to match the material icons.

For instance, the first segment contains the options for a 'New tab' or 'New incognito tab'. Conversely, the second segment contains history-related options. That includes 'History' itself. But it also includes icons and options for 'Downloads', 'Bookmarks', and 'Recent tabs'.

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Here's how to access the icons in the Chrome Beta for Android UI

As might be expected, this feature isn't quite ready for the wider audience just yet. So it's still found in the Beta variant of the app. Fortunately, that can simply be downloaded on Android and function alongside stable Chrome. So it should not cause any problems for end-users to access it now.

Doing so does require some extra steps though.

  1. Download and open Chrome Beta on your Android device
  2. Tap in the URL Omnibox and navigate to 'chrome://flags'
  3. Using the search bar at the top of the page, search "overflow menu"
  4. Switch the options "Android tabbed app overflow menu icons" and "Android tabbed app overflow menu regroup" from "Default" to "Enabled"
  5. Restart Chrome Beta
Chrome Android Overflow menu how to steps beta
Setting up the new overflow menu in Chrome for Android Beta 86 is fairly straightforward

When will this change arrive?

Now, as noted by the source, there are some slight variations in the design of the new menu at the experimental flags page. Those are found in the drop-down menu. So it isn't immediately clear what Google will aim for in a final Chrome for Android overflow menu redesign, although the icons appear to be the same across the board.

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Setting that aside, this change is associated with Chrome 86 for Android in the Beta Channel. So it should arrive sooner than later, most likely in Chrome 86 or Chrome 87. That's if Google decides to finalize the feature at all and release it, which is always up in the air for new visual changes.