After nearly a year in development, ChromeOS’ Google Material You redesign is finally taking shape, bringing vibrant colors, a speedy settings overhaul, and more.
We first spotted Google’s intentions to deliver a Material You redesign of ChromeOS in January. Since then, Google has been steadily working on the massive visual overhaul of Chromebooks, with the debut of Material You dynamic colors appearing in June.
Given the size of ChromeOS, it should come as no surprise to learn that this Material You redesign isn’t a single project, but several smaller projects happening in concert across Google. Here are some of the ones we’ve spotted so far:
- Jelly / Jellyroll – Material You Dynamic Colors for ChromeOS
- CrosNext — Material 3 Components for ChromeOS
- FilesGM3 – Material You enhancements for the Files app
Over the past few weeks, ChromeOS enthusiasts like Kent Duke, C2 Productions and Futur3Sn0w (Going through chrome without box) showed that Google has made significant progress towards a complete overhaul of Material You. Our team managed to force-enable these redesigns on one of our own Chromebooks, so here’s a look at what’s to come.
First and foremost, the feature many will be most excited about is the arrival of Material You Dynamic Colors – the ability to recolor your Chromebook to match your current wallpaper, as first seen in Android 12. Much of ChromeOS’ framework for dynamic colors now seems to be in place, with the app shelf, quick settings, and Files app now matching a particular color theme.
However, ChromeOS does not yet choose this theme based on your current wallpaper. Instead, there seem to be just two placeholder themes – burgundy red and mint green – which ChromeOS spins around somewhat randomly. Each of these themes also comes with a light and dark variant, depending on which style you prefer.
In the corner of the screenshots above, you’ll notice a massively revamped quick settings area. As the “Title” and “Subtitle” text should suggest, this is still early development. That aside, a lot has changed from what’s live in ChromeOS today.
For starters, ChromeOS notifications now live in a separate area, to the left of the calendar, instead of above the quick settings. The Quick Settings themselves have also been redesigned to look almost like what you’ll find on Pixel phones today. Some simple one-click options, such as “Screenshot”, are halved, to save space.
ChromeOS’ new Material You-style sliders for volume and screen brightness also look a bit like their Pixel counterparts. The main difference here is that the icon (the sun for brightness or the speaker for volume) appears to the side of the slider rather than inside it.
Despite moving to a new location, notifications still look the same as before, despite using the new color scheme. This recolor also extends to the recently launched ChromeOS calendar view, which continues to match the color of the app shelf, providing a consistent experience. Meanwhile, the ChromeOS Files app has been massively recolored, using two shades of background colors, multiple text colors, and a bright accent shade to indicate what’s currently selected.
Overall, the introduction of Material You to ChromeOS goes a long way to making Chromebooks feel more like home for anyone used to using a Pixel phone. It’s clear there’s still a long way to go – strikingly, the current Chrome browser doesn’t yet use ChromeOS’ dynamic color theme – but it’s clear that Google has a vision for where ChromeOS is going next. and execute it quickly.
At the rate things are going, I think it’s likely that we’ll see Google finish this Material You redesign of ChromeOS and launch it in 2023, but only time will tell.
What do you think of this (ongoing) redesign of ChromeOS? Let us know in the comments!
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