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New Chrome update makes it easier to theme your browser

Material You comes to the desktop browser.

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Image: KnowTechie

Google is adding a feature that automatically picks colors for Google Chrome based on the wallpaper you use on the new tab page.

The feature is currently live in the Canary developer builds of Google Chrome. Changing the new tab wallpaper then themes the address bar and interface, so you get a pleasing, coherent design for Chrome.

Of course, you can manually change these color settings from your Chrome Profile section, but the automatic changing is definitely a nice addition.

You can see the color changing in the below GIF, thanks to Redditor u/Leopeva64-2, who first noticed the feature in early code commits.

via u/Leopeva64-2

Now the feature is live in the development builds of Google Chrome, under the Chrome flag: “chrome://flags/#customize-chrome-color-extraction.”

Turn the flag on, open a new tab, and change the wallpaper. The rest of Chrome’s interface should retheme to match the colors.

It’s very similar to Android’s Material You feature, which was first introduced in Android 12. At the time, Google said that the auto theming feature would make its way to every other Google product.

The Material You design language was expanded in Android 13. Google has brought the auto theming to several of its own Android apps.

The inclusion in desktop Chrome is the first time it has appeared on a non-Google operating system.

Windows 10 and 11 also have a similar feature, which picks the accent color for the taskbar and Start Menu based on the desktop background.

Google hasn’t said if the feature will be coming to the public builds of Chrome any time soon. Features often come to Canary’s beta builds months ahead of a wider release so that Google can iron out any bugs.

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