Meet Chrome Browser 50 – Now with 100% More Material Design!

Google’s Chrome web browser has been given a facelift- with material design.

To see these changes, you need to be on a Chromebook, or other device using Chrome OS.

If you’ve updated to the latest version of Chrome OS (version 50), you’ll probably notice nothing much at all.

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If you look again and pay attention, you’ll notice that there are a few minor visual changes across the browser. Look at your tabs. Look at the edges. They’re sharper.

Now look at the back, forward, and refresh buttons. They’re simpler.

Now click on one of them, it responds with a feedback symbol.

Last updated: 8/23/17.


The new Chrome Browser with Chrome OS 50- why the new look?

Material design gives the Chrome browser a sharper look, bigger buttons, and faster performance.
Material design gives the Chrome browser a sharper look, bigger buttons, and faster performance.

It’s called material design. Your Chrome device has been tweaked with new animations, colors, textures, and other changes in this milestone update.

It’s supposed to be much more beneficial for touch-screen users, as well as performance benefits gained.

For these devices, such as touchscreen Chromebooks, it’s called “hybrid mode,” which is where the screen is optimized for your fingers for easy and quick navigation- mainly through larger buttons so you’re not pressing the wrong link and having to go back just to choose the right one. 

As of now, all touchscreen Chromebooks already default to hybrid mode.

Can I see the material design visual effects if I’m on a desktop?

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If you’re using Chrome OS on a desktop, such as the Chrome browser, you haven’t seen material design yet. Sebastien Gabriel of Google says that this feature is a “work in progress” for desktops running Chrome browser.

But, if you’re a Chrome fan, you may want to try it out before it’s released, with the exception of a few glitches and visual bugs here and there.

Simply type the following:

“about:flags” in the Omnibar (the address bar within Chrome browser), and then activate material design.

This new look is something that you should get used to, as I think many other sites and companies may adopt if it takes off. Knowing Google, why wouldn’t they? Google already gives more weight to sites with user-friendly layouts, clear text, and mobile-friendly user interaction.

Material design is Chrome’s new look- faster, sharper, clearer, and accessible

Material design will make it easier for touchscreen users to browse using Chrome.
Material design will make it easier for touchscreen users to browse using Chrome.

Material design was introduced by Sabastien Gabriel, a Google designer.

The new look of Chrome OS doesn’t really change any of the functionality, so don’t worry.

All your tabs, buttons, and shortcuts still work the same.

But, the Chrome browser will just look more aesthetic- to some. Material design is nothing new and is already in practice by plenty of sites and apps. However, adding material design to the Chrome browser is something new- a major change for a web browser. I expect other browsers to start incorporating the same design, or at least parts of it.

The clearer and sharper Chrome is definitely noticeable, and overall I appreciate the clean look.

It may look a little “bare” to some, but then again, a bloated browser is what some prefer- they want all their buttons for every single function only a click away. If this is you, you may not like material design. At all.

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Personally, I think the design is much simpler and cleaner.

I’m a minimalist by nature, so the new look is much welcomed.

And if it offers a performance boost, that’s even more appreciated.

I don’t use Chrome on a touchscreen device, but I can see how it can help.

Some sites have navigation or links that are way too close to each other and can be extremely annoying to click. With bigger buttons with smooth animations, this will eliminate a lot of frustration, clicking back, and zooming to click a small link. Woot.

About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (check the "Contact Us" page).

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