We’ve been talking quite a bit about the methodical overhaul ChromeOS is seeing these days as Google’s Material You theme options slowly-but-surely take over all facets of the general UI on Chromebooks. Instead of rolling all of it out all at one time (like the mess we saw with ChromeOS 70 and the messy transition to a tablet-first UI), Google is taking a measured approach this time around as ChromeOS gets a piece-by-piece facelift over the course of multiple, smaller updates.
From the app launcher to the system tray to the internal apps built into your device, we’re getting close to seeing Material You all over ChromeOS and in every spot it makes sense. And though we’ve seen the color scheme picker (not quite functioning just yet) in the Developer and Canary Channels of ChromeOS, there’s not been a clear indication that this feature won’t be forced on users once it does roll out. However, it looks like that sort of control is on the way.
In this tweet from C2 Productions over on Twitter, we can now see Google is adding the option to turn off the background/wallpaper color theming if you don’t like it. While I tend to love this feature of Android 13 on my phone, I do understand that sometimes it doesn’t work that well based on your particular wallpaper. As cool as it might look, I’m sure there are times when users will want to set a background with some crazy colors and they don’t want those same colors bleeding over into the OS as a whole.
Again, this is an example of Google taking their time with this entire effort and getting the pieces in place before rolling out a sweeping UI upgrade that might turn off certain users. I’m all for new features and additional functionality, but I love the fact that if I want the simplest version of ChromeOS, I can still get that. While Android apps, Linux apps, Windows apps, and Steam games (soon) are all technically available to me at this point, if I don’t want them, I can just turn them all off in a simple and succint way.
I like that Google is adding more options for Material You and theming in general, but I like it even more that users will have the option to take these more-colorful changes or skip out on them if they choose. Changes like this are what make me love Chromebooks and ChromeOS, and I can’t wait to see Material You finally arrive in fullness on Chromebooks in the next few updates. It really feels like its all just around the corner at this point.