In addition to a slew of Android updates, Google today is also introducing some new features for desktop Chrome. Along with usability improvements, the biggest new feature is the ability to customize the browser’s look through theming.
The easiest way to customize the browser today is by selecting a theme from the Chrome Web Store. Desktop Chrome theming is now a part of the browser in a very user friendly manner.
It starts from the “Customize” FAB in the bottom-right corner of the New Tab page. Instead of opening a menu to just change Chrome backgrounds, there is a new panel. Like before, “Background” lets you set your own wallpaper on the New Tab Page. There are also a slew of Chrome backgrounds to select from.
The “Shortcuts” page lets you edit the grid of website favicons that appear under the New Tab page’s search bar. There are three options: My shortcuts, Most visited sites, and Hide shortcuts.
Lastly, there is the “Color and theme” menu for theming Chrome on desktops. You can choose between 23 presets, or launch a color picker to select your own. Customizable parts of the browser include the New Tab page background and the top UI “chrome.”
As you open more pages in Chrome, tabs in the top bar shrink until it’s just the site favicon showing. You can already hover over a tab to see what’s open, with Chrome now switching away from the boxy strip of text to a more bubbly overlay.
Appearing beneath the open tab, it features the page name and URL. It’s larger and easier to read, while being more in line with the Material Theme. This feature is already live in Chrome OS. An upcoming update will add a thumbnail of the page to the bubble.
Since Chrome 77’s launch earlier this month, “Send this page” has rolled out to more users, with Google making the device-to-device sharing feature official today. Meanwhile, answers to more queries about sports, weather, and translations will now directly appear in Chrome’s Omnibox.