Google’s ‘Material You’ Color Themes Are Coming to Chrome Desktop

Google Chrome’s most recent Canary release has a cool new feature where the browser’s color palette is determined by the background image of the currently active tab. It closely resembles Android’s Material You design.

Reddit user u/Leopeva64-2 discovered this new functionality, The Verge reported. The user demonstrated how customizing the new tab background also changed the color scheme of the address bar and other browser elements. 

Although customizing Chrome’s color palette has always been possible, this makes it much easier.

Software from Google enables changing the theme color depending on the backdrop picture when the background image is changed in New Tab Page. This function is supported by Google-owned ChromeOS and Fuchsia, as well as macOS, Windows, and Linux.

An Actual Test

The Verge tested this feature by enabling it in the Canary release of Chrome 110 (version 110.0.5418.0) and turning on the “Customize Chrome Color Extraction” option. 

Chrome’s user interface (UI) looked best against brighter wallpapers, while darker wallpapers made it seem dull black, brown, or gray, which was not much of an improvement over the browser’s default color palette. 

Testing the newest feature using Google’s provided wallpapers was a success. However, the automatic color theming option did not function when a different image was uploaded instead. 

It is hard to tell whether it is an error or by design.

Related Story: YouTube Music Updates Material You Buttons for Android, iOS 

Activating the Function

This functionality is disabled by default. To test it yourself, you will need to allow the “chrome:/flags/#customize-chrome-color-extraction” flag. 

After it has been activated, you may change its color scheme to match your wallpaper by opening a new tab, clicking the pen symbol in the tab’s lower right corner, and choosing a new background. 

After you have chosen a wallpaper, the color scheme will remain consistent across all of the tabs in your browser as you navigate the web.

It has yet to be determined if or when the feature will be available to more people. But since it is currently an opt-in feature on Google Chrome’s Canary build, the earliest beta version of its software, do not expect it to be widely available for at least a few months. 

Comparison to Android’s Material You

It is quite similar to Android’s Material You, which adapts the system’s color palette depending on the image it finds on the mobile phone’s home screen. 

It first appeared in Android 12 last year and received more features in Android 13 this year. Now, it is available in numerous of Google’s own Android applications. 

In June, reports announced Google’s plan to bring Material You to Gmail’s web platform. It aimed to improve the previous design by making the colors, buttons, and icons consistent with the appearance of the most recent version of Android.

The Material You style provided greater contrast between read and unread emails than the old one, too.

See Also: Google Chrome Incognito Now Locks Private Tabs via Fingerprints on Android: Here’s How it Works

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Written by Trisha Kae Andrada

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