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Google teases new Chrome tabs as part of Material Design overhaul

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google is working on a Material Design Refresh of its Chrome web browser. The search giant has started testing the Chrome design in the latest Canary developer builds of the web browser, allowing anyone to get an early look at what Google is experimenting with. The most obvious addition is a new address bar with rounded tabs, that look ugly on the desktop version of Chrome. Google’s rounded corners on tabs look a lot more like Firefox’s old design, and they look very different to the current trapezoid-like shaped tabs found in the existing version of Chrome.

9to5Google reports that Google has also published an updated Material Design document, that references a “Material Design Refresh” instead of the “Material Design 2” naming we’d seen earlier this year. The refresh appears to coincide with changes Google is making to Chrome so it’s more touch-friendly alongside Chrome OS. Google’s rounded look in Chrome also matches the company’s plans for a refreshed Gmail interface, which should debut very soon.

Google is holding its I/O developer conference in early May, and the company is expected to further detail its Material Design Refresh project, which will likely be making its way to a lot more products than just Gmail and Chrome.

Current version of Chrome
Future version of Chrome