Material Design has slowly permeated through all of Google’s products, while receiving frequent updates since its I/O 2014 unveil. However, the company might now be working on a “successor” of sorts that features new colors, icons, and spacing.
A Chromium commit (spotted by XDA-Developers) over the weekend reveals something called “the new google material design 2 standard.” This specific entry — which has since been made private — describes the “Material design 2 UI” being applied to the tab and tabstrip interface just above the address bar in Chrome.
Beginning with color, this next version of Material Design uses shades of gray that adopt a lighter, bluish tint that depart from the existing set of traditional grays, as seen below. Additionally, reds are slightly darker, while also adding a new “red-dark” theme.
In practice, this results in a near white color for Chrome’s toolbar, while the Incognito theme is slightly darker. This new design also increases the height and reduces the width of tabs, while also adjusting title, and alert indicator in unspecified ways.
Beyond color, there seems to be a new “material design 2 tab close button icon” that hints at a broader icon revamp as part of the new design.
Some elements remain unchanged, according to the commit, including the new tab button, typography, and tab alert indicator colors, and the separators colors.
Meanwhile, XDA also uncovered references that suggest an increased focus on making touch friendly elements. One example sees Chrome tabs always maintaining their original width rather than be squeezed to allow for page title readability.
Material Design is nearing its four-year anniversary in 2018. While the spec has received frequent updates in that time that have helped it mature, this commit hints at Google planning a redesign that might be more signficant. In 2014, Material introduced a new look for the company, we might now be due for an update that is equal in scale.