With the rise of touchscreen Windows devices and touchscreen Chromebooks, it makes sense for Google’s web browser to become more friendly to prodding fingers and styluses, and a touch-enhanced version of Chrome is now available in the Canary channel – the early, buggy version of the app aimed at developers.
It features a rounded address bar and a circular new tab button, amongst other flourishes, and makes various interface elements easier to stab with your digits or a stylus. As XDA Developers reports though, a much bigger visual overhaul is on the way.
Dubbed “Material Design 2”, the new look will apparently debut on the browser’s birthday (September 2 if it isn’t already marked in your diary). Material Design is the clean, card-based design you see in just about every Google app on the web and mobile, so presumably the new look is built on that.
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As for what Material Design 2 will actually change, your guess is as good as ours at this point, as there are no previews available. A revised color palette will almost undoubtedly be included, to give the new browser some visual oomph, but for the rest of the flourishes we’ll have to wait a few months yet.
Google is always updating Chrome for desktop and mobile with new features – like the long-press of the back button to get to your browsing history on Android – but they’re not always immediately obvious. It sounds like the next big update certainly will be.
Will Google’s other apps, from Gmail to Google Maps, be in line for a visual refresh as well? We’ll have to wait and see. NetMarketShare is currently reporting that Chrome enjoys a 60 percent slice of the desktop browser market, with the ageing Internet Explorer the rival sitting in second place with a little over 12 percent.