Chrome OS is Now Receiving Chrome 50 Material Design Makeover

Chrome 50 has been rolling out for a while now, however there hasn’t really been any word on the expected material design overhaul in the update. If anything, material design disappears when updating to version 50 if my experience is of any indication (I enabled material design in chrome://flags in Chrome on my PC when I updated to Chrome 50 which disabled the preview feature). However, in a new blog post by a Google designer, we now know that a) material design is officially heading to Chrome OS first and b) what the makeover will officially look like.


Chrome 50 is starting to roll out and with its Chrome OS version comes the Material design revamp of the Core UI.

The blog post explains how material design for Chrome has spent a year in development and how it involves a complete revamp of how Core UI is implemented:

A year in the making, the MD redesign of Chrome consists in a complete revamp of how we implement the Core UI. Beyond a flatter, sharper and lighter design, it is a huge engineering feat. Chrome is now rendered fully programmatically including iconography, effectively removing the ~1200 png assets we were maintaining before. It also allows us to deliver a better rendering for a wide range of PPI configuration.

Additional changes made to Chrome 50 are as follows:

  • New default theme.
  • Complete overhaul of the Incognito theme with a new dark color.
  • Complete revamp of tab shapes, icons, and omnibox to match mobile.
  • Introducing Material Design ripples and morphing buttons states.
  • New color, more accessible color scheme.
  • New info bars and buttons.

In addition to the new material UI and alterations listed above, there’s also a new alternative “hybrid” layout which will adapt to any type of screen, whether it’d be touch-enabled or not.

Last but not least, Chrome comes with an alternate layout called “hybrid”. It offers a more comfortable layout for touch-enabled and convertibles devices without compromising the productivity aspect of Chrome. This will be activated by default on touchscreen Chromebooks.

If you’re itching to try out the new material UI in Chrome 50 but don’t have a Chromebook, you can download Chrome Canary (the preview version of Chrome) to your Windows or Mac machine, navigate to chrome://flags, and enable “Material design in the browser’s top chrome”. Then, simply restart your browser, and you’ll have MD. (Note that this version of Chrome is still a work in progress and that bugs can be found throughout the software.)