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Google Chrome is getting a fresh look for its 15th birthday

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If you’re a Google Chrome user, (and given that it’s the world’s most popular browser by far, odds are good that you are) you might notice things looking a little different when you fire up your browser over the coming weeks.

To celebrate Chrome’s 15th birthday, Google is giving it a bit of a makeover. The company announced in a blog post today that the desktop version of the popular browser is getting a new look based on the Material You design language. 

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That new look, coming in the next few weeks, will bring refreshed icons, a “focus on legibility” and “new color palettes that better complement your tabs and toolbar.” Those new themes, Google says, should make it easy to distinguish between profiles, say for your work and your personal account.

Several improvements, the company wrote, should make Chrome easier to use — like a more comprehensive menu for quicker access to Google Password Manager, Chrome extensions, Google Translate, and more. The side panel on the browser is now home to all bookmarks and a “Search this page with Google” feature.

There’s also going to be improved integration with operation systems so Chrome preferences can adapt to light or dark modes on your computer. Not too much is changing with the actual layout, but you will notice some more rounded edges and taller tabs.

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The last update to Chrome was 2018’s Material Design refresh. The Material You redesign is already available on the Chrome Web Store if you’d like to get a peek at how the new Chrome will feel. In addition to the visual refresh, the Web Store also features new AI-powered extensions and an editor’s spotlight along with more personal recommendations.

Google also announced upgrades to browser security. Previously, the “Safe Browsing” feature kept users safe by checking a site against a locally-stored list of dangerous sites. That list was updated every 30 minutes to an hour before, but now it’s updated in real-time. Given that 60% of phishing sites exist for less than 10 minutes, Google says, this is a critical update. 

Users don’t need to do anything to access the new Chrome, just wait for the update.


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