Along with bringing Android apps to a few more Chromebooks, Chrome OS 56 has recently been released to the development channel. It also includes a few design changes that add a little more Material Design to Chrome OS.
ChromeUnboxed was the first to notice changes in Chrome OS 56’s app shelf, menu, and setup splash screen that more closely adhere to Google’s own Material Design standards.
(You only need to switch to the developer channel to test this for yourself. To do this, open the settings menu, select About Chrome OS from the More info menu, then click Change channel, and finally choose the development channel. The update will be downloaded automatically by the Chromebook, and you’ll be prompted to restart it to complete the installation.)
With the introduction of the app shelf, Chrome OS receives a new app-open dot and some color changes for the clock, notification, and app drawer button. The new design is undoubtedly cleaner than Google’s previous iteration, though it may appear less evident at first.
A number of significant changes are been made to the quick settings menu. The organization of the menu, which now displays the settings shortcut, battery percentage, and other shortcuts in a new style, is the first immediately noticeable improvement. All of the icons have been updated with new, flatter variations, and the volume slider also receives a Material design. Options like WiFi and Bluetooth receive clearer on/off options under the individual settings, which closely mirror Android’s settings interface.
Last but not least, the Chrome OS setup splash screen is redesigned, as we’ve seen in the last several development channel updates. Functionality-wise, nothing has changed; the entire user interface has simply undergone a noticeable makeover that is clearly inspired by Material Design.
Although it’s unclear when these improvements will appear in Chrome OS’ stable channel, we’ll let you know as soon as we notice them on our Chromebooks.
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