Google Chrome merged translucency and Material You on Windows

Anyone using the most recent stable version of Google Chrome (version 114) on a desktop computer is aware that the UI makes it difficult to distinguish between the open tabs. Even if we enjoy dynamic theming, one of the most widely used web browsers should have a better user interface. It is typically only a little bit darker or lighter than the others. Google appears to have gotten the message because it is currently experimenting with a combination of dynamic theming and Microsoft’s Mica content to distinguish the active tab.

Users of the Canary (version 116) have had firsthand access to recent visual improvements in Google Chrome, such as dynamic theming for tabs in April and Mica material in May. The former applies color to numerous menus and UI components, such as browser tabs, by stealing it from the current Chrome theme. As a Microsoft SDK, Mica material offers a glass-like translucency effect to developers so that their Windows-based programs seem the part.

Google is exploring dynamic theming for the active tab while the Mica material is applied to all other tabs in Chrome Canary 116 for Windows, according to reputable Chrome feature researcher and Android Police reader /u/Leopeva64-2 on Reddit. An unselected tab’s color likewise changes from Mica to the browser theme color when the cursor is hovered over it. Leopeva also observed that, as compared to the Dev version, the same theme appears a little bit darker on the current Chrome Canary build.

Although the new tab picker adopted this fantastic design modification that makes the active tab stand out right away, we are concerned that it might not be permanent. Google previously stopped supporting Mica for Chrome because the visual effects used a lot of resources. Additionally, the devs have been back and forth on several of the tab picker modifications. The performance hit might just be worth it for the 2023 visual upgrade, so let’s hope they choose this version.

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