Check out the ChromeOS Material you redesigned in action [Gallery]

By | November 30, 2022

After nearly a year in development, your redesigned ChromeOS stuff is finally taking shape, bringing dynamic colors, a quick settings revamp, and more.

We first saw Google’s intentions to create a new material design for ChromeOS back in January. Since then, Google has been steadily working on the big visual overhaul of Chromebooks, with the start of Material You’s dynamic colors appearing in June.

Given the size of ChromeOS, it should come as no surprise to learn that this stuff you’re redesigning isn’t a single project, but several smaller projects happening together at Google. Here are just a few of the ones we’ve tracked so far:

  • Jelly / Jellyroll — Material You Dynamic Colors for ChromeOS
  • CrosNext — Material 3 Components for ChromeOS
  • FilesGM3 — Material You enhancements to the Files app

In recent weeks, ChromeOS enthusiasts like Kent Duke, C2 Productions and Futur3Sn0w (through chrome without box) showed that Google has made significant progress toward a complete redesign of Material You. Our team managed to force these redesigns onto one of our own Chromebooks, so here’s a closer look at what’s to come.

First and foremost, the feature many will be most excited about is the arrival of Material You’s dynamic colors – the ability to change the Chromebook’s hue to match the current wallpaper, as first seen in Android 12. from the dynamic ChromeOS framework the colors now appear to be in place, with the app shelf, quick settings and the Files app all matching a specific color theme.

However, ChromeOS still doesn’t choose this theme based on your current wallpaper. Instead, there seem to be just two placeholder themes – burgundy red and mint green – that ChromeOS rotates through rather randomly. Each of these themes also comes with a light and dark variant, depending on the style you prefer.

In the corner of the screenshots above, you’ll notice a massively reworked quick settings area. As the “Title” and “Caption” text should suggest, this is still very early in development. That aside, a lot has changed from what’s live on ChromeOS today.

For starters, ChromeOS notifications are now in a separate area to the left of the calendar instead of above quick settings. 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 “Screenshot” are half the size to save space.

ChromeOS’ new Material You-style sliders for screen volume and brightness also look a bit like their Pixel counterparts. The main difference here is that the icon (the sun for brightness or the speaker for volume) appears next to the slider instead of inside it.

  • ChromeOS Stuff You've redesigned the Files app and notifications
  • ChromeOS Material You Redesign Calendar View

Despite moving to a new location, the notifications still look essentially the same as before, albeit using the new color scheme. This recolor also extends to the recently released ChromeOS calendar view, which continues to match the app shelf color, providing a cohesive experience. Meanwhile, the ChromeOS Files app has been massively recolored, using two shades of background colors, multiple text colors, and a bright highlight tone to indicate what’s currently selected.

Overall, the introduction of Material You to ChromeOS goes a long way towards making Chromebooks feel more like home for those used to using a Pixel phone. Of course, there’s still a long way to go – surprisingly, the actual Chrome browser still doesn’t use ChromeOS’ dynamic color theme – but it’s clear that Google has a vision for where it’s taking ChromeOS next, and it’s running fast.

At the rate things are going, I think we’ll likely see Google complete this Material You overhaul of ChromeOS and release it in 2023, but only time will tell.

What do you think of this ChromeOS redesign (work in progress)? Let us know in the comments!

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