Google unveiled a brand new design language for Android 12 last week at this year's I/O conference. It's dubbed Material You, and it employs humanistic principles like pastel color palettes and creative shapes. Google intends to apply its playful design everywhere by next year, and we hope that the transition won't be rough. It looks like the company wants to start off strong, as evidence suggests that Chrome for Android may be in line to get a Material You makeover.
We recently spotted a flag in Chrome 90 for Android that adds subtle Material You influence to its overflow menu, hinting that a major facelift may be around the corner. You can try it out now by copying and pasting the following URL into Chrome. Select "Enabled" from the drop-down, then tap the restart button at the bottom.
Enables the theme refactoring on Android.
Once Chrome relaunches, you'll need to restart it a second time — close it from the Recents screen and open it once again from the app drawer. The new design will show up after pressing the overflow menu button on Chrome.
Left: Current design. Right: Material You tweak.
The revamped overflow menu takes subtle cues from Material You, ditching its sharp edges for rounded, natural corners. The design is aesthetically pleasing and a nice touch to make it feel integrated with Android 12. Your mileage may vary, though, as the Chrome flag may not work on older Android devices.
Some people may not enjoy the new curvy shape, but personally, I think it's a step in the right direction. Although subtle, the aesthetics fit perfectly with Android 12's system theme — and it looks good, too. The design shift is a sign that Google has learned from its messy Material Design launch and wants to get the ball rolling right away. I'm excited to see Google committed to make its ecosystem beautiful — fingers crossed it'll implement Material You consistently.