Google’s been a rather busy outfit lately, updating the UI across their suite of apps and web services with Material Design. Over the last few months, the search giant has rolled out Material Design UIs at breakneck speeds, starting with a major update to Gmail back in April, and more recently with Maps, News, Tasks, and nightly Chrome Canary builds. In fact, just yesterday, the company released a video showcasing Material Design mock-ups for several new apps.
Today, however, an enterprising Redditor has discovered a hidden Material Design UI refresh on the iOS version of Chrome, which can be activated by enabling ‘UI Refresh Phase 1’ flag via the ‘chrome://flags’ interface.
Once enabled, you’re greeted with a clean new home page and a search bar with rounded corners to boot. The new interface also includes several changes to key navigational elements, but you can still find the unified search bar and share sheet at the top. The forward, back, tab view and overflow menu buttons have now been moved to a new bar at the bottom, which also includes a dedicated button to access the search bar. The overflow menu has also been reorganized and redesigned with a new rounded look.
The tab view has also undergone a major redesign with a new side-scrolling interface which lets you add new tabs or preview currently open ones, toggle Incognito Mode, or view recently closed and currently open tabs on other linked devices.
Overall, the new interface is fluid, easy to navigate and possibly an improvement over the current iteration. Go ahead and try it out for yourself, but please refrain from going trigger happy on the other flags, as some of them may result in rather unforeseen consequences.
Gallery: New Material Design UI for Chrome on iOS