After nearly a year in development, Google’s Material You redesign of ChromeOS is finally taking shape, bringing dynamic colors, a quick settings revamp, and more.
We first spotted Google’s intentions to create a Material You redesign of ChromeOS back in January. Google has been steadily working on the huge visual overhaul of Chromebooks. The first Material You dynamic colors appeared in June.
Because ChromeOS is so large, it shouldn’t surprise that Material You redesign isn’t just one project. It’s actually a series of smaller projects being done in concert by Google. Here are just a few of the ones we’ve tracked down so far:
- Jelly / Jellyroll — Material You’s dynamic colors ChromeOS
- CrosNext — Material 3 components for ChromeOS
- FilesGM3 — Material You enhancements for the Files app
ChromeOS fans have enjoyed ChromeOS for the past few weeks. Kent Duke, Futur3Sn0w, C2 Productions and Futur3Sn0w (via Chrome UnboxedGoogle has made substantial progress toward a complete Material You design. Our team has managed to forcibly enable these redesigns on one of our own Chromebooks, so here’s a closer look at what’s in store.
First and foremost, the feature many will be most excited for is the arrival of Material You dynamic colors — the ability to have your Chromebook re-hued to match your current wallpaper, as first seen in Android 12. The framework for ChromeOS dynamic colours is now in place. With the app shelf, quick setting, and Files app all matching a specific color theme, a lot of it seems to be working.
ChromeOS will not choose the theme based upon your wallpaper. Instead, there seem to only be two placeholder themes — burgundy red and mint green — that ChromeOS rotates through somewhat randomly. You can also choose from a dark or light version of each theme, depending on your preference.
In the corner of the screenshots above, you’ll notice a massively overhauled quick settings area. As the “Title” and “Subtitle” text should suggest, this is still very early in development. Setting that aside, quite a bit has changed from what’s live in ChromeOS today.
ChromeOS notifications live now in a new area, located to the left of your calendar. The quick settings themselves have also been redesigned to look almost identical to what you’ll find on Pixel phones today. Some simple, one-click options like “Screen capture” are half the size, to conserve space.
The Material You-styled new sliders for ChromeOS brightness and volume look a lot like their Pixel counterparts. The only difference is that the icon (the speaker for volume or sun for brightness) is displayed to the side of each slider.
Even though they have been moved to a different location, notifications look exactly the same as before. However, the color scheme has changed. The ChromeOS calendar view was also recolored to match the app shelf’s color, providing a seamless 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 into ChromeOS goes a long way toward making Chromebooks feel more like home for anyone who’s used to using a Pixel phone. It’s clear there’s still a long way to go — strikingly, the actual Chrome browser does not yet use the dynamic color theme from ChromeOS — but it’s clear Google has a vision for where it’s taking ChromeOS next and is executing on it rapidly.
At the rate things are going, I think it’s likely we’ll see Google complete this Material You overhaul of ChromeOS and launch it sometime in 2023, but only time will tell.
What do you think about this (work in progress) ChromeOS redesign. Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!
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