Google could soon have a completely new UI for downloads and bookmarks in Chrome for Android, tying back into other changes in Android 12. That’s based on recent reports detailing an overhaul spotted in Chrome Canary for the platform.
Now, the biggest changes to the UI all appear aimed at making navigation more visual and less about the text. So the new stylings could provide better support for Android 12’s Material You rework. If and when they are eventually committed to the stable version of the browser for all end users.
What visual changes are in place for Android 12 Chrome?
With regard to the alterations made to downloads, those aren’t quite as prominent as in the apparent Android 12-ready bookmarks changes. Google has effectively moved the pop-up UI from the bottom pane in the browser to the top. The company also separated the pane out onto its own card. Making it appear more similar to how other notifications do.
That should ultimately make it easier for end-users to see when a download has started and when it is finished. But the card-style design and larger icons associated with downloads activity could help the theme follow Material You better as well.
Following in that same vein, Google is adjusting the bookmarks UI away from its previously-used stylings as well. Rather than providing a short, list-style layout with small folder icons, the company is testing larger, more touch-friendly icons for bookmark folders. Larger icons are in place for individual bookmarks within a folder too. Making it easier for end-users to identify pages within the list.
That also results in better use of space, leaving plenty of space between saved pages for easier identification of individual sites.
When exactly is this expected to arrive?
As of this writing, the changes above and shown in the images below are only appearing in the Chrome Canary Channel. That means that they’re only accessible on Android for those who have downloaded the Canary version of the app. But it also means that the changes are a test rather than a final product.
The most experimental channel, Chrome Canary, conversely, is presently in version 95. So that’s the earliest this feature would potentially appear. Given that Android 12 is expected to land in September and that Chrome 95 is currently slated for mid-October. The timeline seems to match up with expectations. At least insofar as those expectations pertain to associated visual changes to Google’s own applications.