Technology Reviews

Google Chrome’s desktop app gets a Material You makeover

Google Chrome on the desktop does not change its theme based on the background wallpaper as it does on Android smartphones and tablets. If you are on Android, all Google apps change the colors of some of their UI elements to match the home screen wallpaper, thanks to the Material You dynamic theme feature. Taking cues from it, Google is spreading the dynamic theme to the latest Chrome Canary version 110.

The latest Chrome Canary v110 brings the Material You dynamic theme to macOS, Windows 10/11, ChromeOS, and even Linux. It was spotted by one Redditor, and interestingly, the dynamic theme on the Google Chrome desktop works a bit differently than it does on Android.

Since Google Chrome doesn’t hook to your desktop wallpaper, as spotted by the Redditor, Google Chrome on the desktop changes the theme based on the dominant color of the wallpaper you have set on Chrome’s new tab page. However, in order to make it work, you need to enable the chrome://flags/#customize-chrome-color-extraction flag.

After the flag is enabled, any time you change the wallpaper of the new tab, Google Chrome will change the theme. There is one caveat, though, the theme change happens only when switching to a wallpaper provided in one of the collections from Google. Using your own picture won’t change the UI theme, and it will stay on the previous theme.

While it isn’t much of a big deal, it makes the browser feel more personal, the same way Material You does on Android. As of now, you need to install Google Chrome Canary to enjoy this new Material You dynamic theme, but it shouldn’t take long before the feature arrives in the stable version of the browser.