The stable version 39 of Chrome introduced theme-color attribute support for website developers to give their pages unique and colorful looks when you're browsing them on your Android device. However, for the feature to work at the time, users had to have apps and tabs merged, so that each tab was treated as a separate app in the multitasking tray. Later on, the developer version 47 of Chrome added a workaround to enable theme-color support without merged tabs and apps. But only users who knew how to find flag chrome://flags/#enable-theme-color-in-tabbed-mode and activate it were able to enjoy a colorful address bar header in their browsers.
Now Chrome Dev seems to be ready to graduate that feature to everyone living on the bleeding edge of browsing. Previous version 48.0.2547.0 still used the flag method, so if you didn't have that enabled, you saw the traditional grey address bar and black status bar. The new Chrome Dev version 48.0.2553.4 removes the need for a flag. Simply heading over to any website with a theme-color attribute, like our own Android Police or APKMirror, will show you the colorful address bar and status bar. No flag activations needed. No merged tabs and apps necessary.
Left: Version 48.0.2547.0 Middle & Right: Version 48.0.2553.4
Now that the feature has moved from flag-bound to default on Chrome Dev, we can cross our fingers and hope to see it graduate to more mature versions of Chrome in Beta or stable. In the meantime, you can grab the version 48.0.2553.4 apk corresponding to your device from APK Mirror and manually install it to enjoy the perk. Happy colorful browsing!
- Taylor Yan