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Google Chrome gaining dynamic color theme based on New Tab Page background

Taking inspiration from Android, Google Chrome on the desktop is gaining a new dynamic theme, made from your current background.

Over the years, Google has been steadily building up the theming and customization options of Chrome, letting people feel more at home in their web browser. Well before Android 12 brought the full-fledged dynamic color system of Material You, Chrome for PC, Mac, and Chromebooks gained a way to generate a full theme just from a single color choice. Meanwhile, the Android version of Chrome simply matches your phone’s theme, where possible.

The key difference with Material You on Android, though, is that the theme is created from the colors of your wallpaper. As shared on Reddit by Leopeva64, Google is now preparing a similar system for Chrome, based on the background image chosen for the New Tab Page. It’s available now in the latest Chrome Canary, albeit hidden behind a flag in chrome://flags.

Customize Chrome Color Extraction

Enables setting theme color based on background image color when background image is changed in New Tab Page Customize Chrome.

Once enabled, any time you change to a new background image, the whole of Chrome will switch to a complementary color theme. Notably, the theme only changes when switching to a background from one of the collections that Google provides. If you try to use a picture of your own, Chrome will stay on its previous theme.

While perhaps an arguably minor change in the grand scheme of things, it’s delightful to watch Chrome rapidly switch themes to match each new background. More than that, it goes a long way toward making the browser feel more cohesive, in the same way that Material You helps make Android 13 more personal.

As the feature is only just beginning to appear in Chrome Canary, we don’t expect to see these background-based dynamic color themes launch until at least version 110, scheduled to release in February 2023.

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