Google Is Testing a New Chrome UI

Google engineers have rolled out a new Chrome user interface (UI). Work on the new Refresh UI has been underway since last year, Bleeping Computer has learned.

The new UI is in early testing stages, and only available via the Google Chrome Canary distribution, a version of the Chrome browser used as a testing playground.

Users who are interested in giving the new UI a spin must install Chrome Canary, and then access chrome://flags, a section that contains various experimental options not included in Chrome’s default settings section.

Here they should search for “UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome,” an option that controls Chrome’s main UI. The new user interface is named “Refresh.”

New Google Chrome Canary UI

Chrome users will undoubtedly notice that the new UI ditches the sloped/angled trapeze-formed tabs for a new design that uses rectangle tabs with rounded corners. The tabs are also slightly smaller than the previous ones.

Despite the new design, Google has yet to fix its overcrowding problem that occurs when opening too many tabs. Opening too many tabs makes reading the tab title/name impossible, as the tab width sometimes goes under 10-15 pixels.

Google designers should definitely take a page out of Firefox’s book and use a side-scrolling system, which keep tab names visible.

Chrome's overcrowding problem

The new “Refresh” design looks more closely to a user interface designed using the rules and guides from Google’s visual design language known as “Material Design.”

Google has been slowly redesigning Chrome’s settings, bookmarks, and history sections to use the Material Design style. Now, it appears that engineers seem to be applying the same design rules for Chrome’s actual browser skin per-se.

According to freelance reporter Owen Williams, the one who spotted the new UI over the weekend, the “Refresh” style seems to be active for Canary on Windows users only, for the time being.

Google has been using the same design with Google Chrome since 2015. For reference, here’s how Chrome’s current UI looks like.

Current Google Chrome design

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