Hands-On: This is Google’s Material Redesign of Chrome for iOS

It’s no secret Google’s working on a material redesign of its Chrome web browser. The new design was originally previewed in Chrome 68 builds a few months ago, but it has yet to reach a vast majority of Chrome users. Therefore, it’s pretty safe to assume not many people knew a change like this was coming, including a big redesign for mobile.

Yes, folks, alongside the release of the redesign of Chrome for your desktop, we’ll also likely see redesigns for both Android and iOS. While the former has yet to make an appearance, the latter on the other hand can be enabled by anyone who knows how to type on a keyboard. Just search for chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md within Chrome version 68 on your iPhone or iPad and select “Enabled” under “UI Refresh Phase 1.”

After restarting Chrome on your device, you’ll be greeted by the new design front and center. Right off the bat, you’ll find that the overall aesthetic is cleaner than before. All the navigation controls have moved to the bottom beside the search bar which still lives at the top. Still, there’s a search button for easy access to the bar if you have, say, an iPhone Plus or X.

There’s also a new tab view; a new home screen; a new menu for opening tabs and other subsidiaries within Chrome; and new UIs for history, bookmarks, and more.

I’ve been testing the new design on my iPhone for a few hours now and I really like it. Part of the reason I don’t use Chrome on iOS is because of the design, but I’ve decided to give it another go and see if I can make the switch from Apple’s Safari. In short, though, I can say I’m really excited to see the new design launch for all users.

You know, whenever that happens.