You know how we’ve been covering the Chrome browser’s Material You redesign a lot over the past few months? Well, there’s a reason that Google has been holding off on an official announcement – today is Chrome’s 15th birthday!
With that being said, the tech giant dropped a massive Keyword blog post detailing all of the changes, as well as some other useful features coming soon to you.
This redesign isn’t just about aesthetics though; sure, everything has a distinct color theming, nice, rounded corners and buttons, but it was designed this way to help with accessibility. Icons now appear for every menu option, the profile switcher has been revamped to clearly distinguish separate entities, and more.
Additionally, a full side panel customization suite has been added, as shown below. You can choose the color, wallpaper, dark or light mode (as well letting it follow whichever theme your device is following), and so on. Most recently, a new Wallpaper Search has been tested out, and may likely join these tools down the line.
After lamenting the missed opportunity for the Chrome Web Store to become the ultimate destination for web applications and PWAs a few years ago, Google finally surprised us with a redesign of that too. This marks another massive announcement for Chrome’s birthday celebrations. Currently in a public preview, it has Material You theming as well, and offers more personalized extension recommendations and boasts improved security measures, like the expanded Safety Check for extensions.
Enhancing the browsing experience, Chrome’s also boosted its search capabilities. A new “Search this page with Google” feature has been added, which opens the side panel for related searches and deeper dives. For my U.S. readers, there’s an AI-powered “SGE while browsing” feature in Search Labs, which you’ll have access to if you signed up for the beta.
Safety remains central to Google’s messaging with Chrome. In fact, its Safe Browsing has evolved to counter short-lived phishing domains by checking sites against Google’s real-time list of malicious sites. This change promises a whopping 25% improvement in protection against online threats.
Fifteen years in, and Chrome’s still pushing boundaries. It may not be everyone’s preferred browser, especially as Google’s reputation continues to take hit after hit, but there’s no denying it’s rocking the scene and finally looks modernized.