It's no secret that Google may be planning a "Material Design 2" refresh for Chrome, possibly timed to roll out on or near the browser's 10th birthday in September. The new-tab button is one of the more visible elements that's being tinkered with, and now Google is testing a few different positions for that button via a new flag.
The flag is accessible at chrome://flags/#new-tab-button-position in Chrome Canary for Chrome OS, Mac, Windows, and Linux. It gives users five options: Default, Opposite caption buttons, Leading, After tabs, and Trailing. Here's what each of those looks like using Chrome Canary on my Mac:
Default: The "+" button is placed after the last tab.
Opposite caption buttons: The "+" button is placed at the end of the tab strip on the right on my Mac, but it appears on the left side in the Canary channel of Chrome OS. (More on this below.)
Leading: The "+" button is placed at the left side of the tab strip.
After tabs: The "+" button is placed after the last tab, just like it is in the "Default" option above.
Trailing: The "+" button is placed at the right side of the tab strip, just like it is in the "Opposite caption buttons" option above.
The "Opposite caption buttons" option is a bit mysterious, but Reddit user pkasting, who says he works on the Chrome team and authored this flag, explains: "Basically, 'opposite caption buttons' is the previous refresh default value, while leading/after tabs/trailing are direct maps to underlying values for testing."
He adds that this flag won't be around forever and will be used until the Chrome team doesn't want to experiment with other positions for the new-tab button.
If you want to play around with these different new-tab button placements yourself, download Chrome Canary on your Mac, Windows, or Linux device, or switch to the Canary channel if you're on Chrome OS. Let us know which option you prefer.
- Chrome Story