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How To: Enable Material Design UI In Google Chrome On iOS & Desktop

Material Design is the future of the designing industry due to its simplicity and clean elegance. Google is a huge fan of Material UI and has made recent Android OS versions completely material.

Google has been working on a Material Design for its Chrome browser across desktop and mobile in recent months. Looks like the redesign is starting to make its way to the stable version of the browser.

Chrome 68 that was released earlier this week, now includes the fresh “Material Design” that’s hidden behind some settings in both the iOS and desktop versions. Unfortunately, Chrome 68 for Android does not yet include the Material Design refresh changes.

The desktop version includes a more rounded and whiter appearance. On the other hand, the mobile version of Chrome has a far more drastic redesign on iOS. Google is moving the navigation controls to the bottom of the screen which is a great thing in my opinion as most of the time I see myself struggling to navigate to the last page I visited due to the tall screen of the device.

The moving of the navigation to the bottom of the screen means forward and backward buttons are now at the bottom, alongside access to tabs, settings, and a new search button in the middle.

Google is also overhauling the new tab page to be more useful. The new search button is a quick way to get to the address bar for now, which is ideal if you’re using a phone with an extra-tall display like a ‘Plus’ variant of iPhone.

Enable Material UI in Chrome on iOS and Desktop

Though Google has not yet enabled its more rounded tabs in Chrome on the desktop. Here’s how to enable parts of the Material Design refresh on desktop and iOS:

Chrome Desktop

  • Navigate to chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md
  • In “UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome” change the option from default to refresh
  • Restart Chrome to see the changes

Chrome iOS

Enable Chrome Material UI iOSChrome Material Design UI iOS
  • Navigate to chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md
  • In “UI Refresh Phase 1” select enabled
  • Restart Chrome to see the changes

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