‘Material You’ Color Themes in Chrome: A first implementation of Google’s “Material You” color-changing design language appears to be making its way to Chrome, at least in canary versions. Identified by Reddit user Leopeva64-2, the new flags in Chrome’s nightly releases enable the user interface to change color dynamically depending on the user’s background, much like Android.
If you want to give this a whirl right now, you’ll need to download Chrome Canary and activate the following flags (by pasting them into the address bar): “chrome:/flags/#customize-chrome-color-extraction” and “chrome:/flags/#ntp-comprehensive-theming.” If you enable these features in Chrome, changing the tab bar’s colour is as simple as selecting a different background using the “customize” option in the page’s lower right corner.
The search bar on new tab pages may also be themed by adding a single flag to chrome:/flags/#ntp-comprehensive-theming.
Material When you first debuted in 2021, you were using Android version 12. Material You included not just a new set of rules for the proportions and forms of UI components, but also an intelligent color scheme.
With a lot of algorithmic magic, Android can automatically steal colors from your background and apply them to the UI, ensuring there are no contrast issues. As an added bonus, it provides Android with a one-of-a-kind design and is perfect if you like colorful user interfaces.
The new design language, Material You, was revealed by Google and is expected to be used across “the web, Chrome OS, Wearables, smart displays, and all of Google’s products,” as stated by Matias Duarte, vice president of company-wide “Design” group. As time has passed, Gmail on the desktop has adopted a brighter color scheme, but the Material You color scheme hasn’t made it too far beyond Android.
To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s fair to refer to Chrome’s current color palette as Material You, given how much brighter and more jarring it is in comparison to the standard Android aesthetic. By altering the wallpaper’s lightness values to preserve readable contrast and conform with Google’s design purpose, Android creates a wide range of soft pastels.
Because of this, backgrounds are typically just subtly colored, with the most prominent hues being saved for call-to-action elements. In contrast, Chrome’s current settings favor extremely vivid background colors that may be distracting when you’re attempting to read content on a website. If this feature does become the default, you can probably disable it on Chrome because it includes a manual color picker that has been available for some time.
Since this is the beta release of Material You, we may adjust the color scheme and fix some of the contrast problems (especially with the white Google logo) in a future update. Although the branded Material You color palette isn’t currently visible in Chrome’s settings, the browser is obviously moving in that direction.
A “unified switch for the ChromeOS Material Next launch” was committed to Chrome OS in June. The internal term for Material You is “Material Next.” It appears that Chrome is getting ready for a significant revamp in the near future.