In recent weeks, more and more Google apps and services have adopted dark modes. The latest is now Chrome for Android’s UI, but only in the experimental Canary channel. Also in development is a new tab switcher that presents card previews as a grid rather than a list.

Chrome 74.0.3724.0 is the latest Canary build for Android and adds a new experimental flag titled “Android Chrome UI dark mode”.

If enabled, a user can enable Android Chrome UI dark mode through settings. — Android

After setting to “Enabled,” a new “Dark mode” option appears under “Basics” in Settings. Turning on the switch will immediately transition the white background in Chrome for Android to a dark shade of gray. This wide-ranging transition is applied everywhere from the New tab page, Settings, bottom bar, menus, and more.

Most text switches to white, but this dark mode is clearly still under development as suggested articles and buttons in the bottom bar retain dark outlines and are not very visible. Meanwhile, the system navigation bar remains white for a jarring contrast. Arguably, the new UI is not very usable, but a step in the right direction.

This toggle builds on work to directly darken web page content, and comes as similar themes are in development for the browser on macOS and Windows. Google is adding dark modes to all its apps ahead of Android Q launching later this year.

Chrome Canary is also developing a “Tab Grid Layout” for the switcher. At the moment, it’s still a vertical list of apps, but Google has been experimenting what a horizontal view akin to Android 9 Pie’s Overview screen. However, Google is already testing a different take that draws inspiration from Chrome on iOS. This flag is also available in Chrome 73 Dev.


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