Google is adding Material You-style colour themes to Chrome for desktop

Google is adding Material You-style colour themes to Chrome for desktop

Google Chrome’s newest Canary edition features a clever feature that automatically selects a colour scheme for the browser depending on the background shown when you start a new tab. The functionality was discovered by Reddit user u/Leopeva64-2, who demonstrates how altering the new tab background immediately affects the colour scheme of the browser’s address bar and UI. Previously, you could manually alter Chrome’s colour scheme to one of your own, but this streamlines the process.

The functionality, which is accessible on Mac, Windows, and Linux, as well as Google’s own ChromeOS and Fuchsia operating systems, “enables changing theme colour depending on background picture colour when the background image is updated in New Tab Page.”

It’s comparable to Android’s Material You, which changes the colour palette of the operating system depending on what it detects in your home screen wallpaper. It first appeared in Android 12 last year, and it was enhanced in this year’s Android 13 version. Google has also included the theming option to numerous of its Android applications. However, as Android Police points out, this seems to be the first time Google has implemented a feature of this kind on a non-Google operating system.

The option is not activated by default. Instead, activate the Chrome flag “chrome:/flags/# customise-chrome-colour-extraction” if you want to test it out. To see the colour scheme mirrored in Chrome’s interface, start a new Chrome tab, click the pen symbol in the bottom right of the new tab window, and pick a new background. When you choose a background, the colour scheme is carried across multiple tabs while you explore the web.

There’s no indication of when or if the function will become more widely available, but considering that it’s now an opt-in feature on Google Chrome’s Canary build (the software’s most recent beta version), we wouldn’t anticipate it to be widely available for at least a few months.

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