Back in March, we spotted Google testing Material Theme icons for the various Search categories. This graphical and colorful addition is now widely rolled out when visiting on the desktop web.

Underneath the pill-shaped bar on the results page, the nine Search filters are now accompanied by icons: All, News, Videos, Maps, Images, Shopping, Books, Flights, and Finance.

That first Search category features a magnifying glass in the four Google colors of red, green, blue, and yellow. These pictograms conform to the Material Theme style by having bold outlines and mostly hollow interiors. The icons are dark gray when not selected, and match their corresponding products, especially Google Maps and News.

Categories are arranged based on relevance to the search query, with only five shown at a time. “More” uses a vertical hamburger icon, while the dropdown panel features rounded corners.

Overall, the Material Theme icons help quickly separate the various filters while searching. The touch of color makes Search feel more whimsical and not as text-heavy.

This change has been in testing for the past several weeks, but as of Thursday evening appears to be widely rolled out. Google Search’s Material Theme icons might not make sense on phones given the lack of screen real estate. However, on the desktop web, the icons fit right in with minimal adjustment to the search engine’s existing design.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: