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Google Chrome for iOS has a secret Material Design refresh – here’s how to enable it

The new version of Google Chrome includes a Material Design refresh, but you have to jump through a couple of hoops to enable it. Chrome 68 for iOS and desktop includes the visual overhaul, which can be summoned by altering flags in the settings.

In the new version, the navigation controls have moved to the bottom of the screen. The back/forward buttons are on the left, there’s a search button in the centre, and easy access to tabs on the right. The familiar menu dots offer access to bookmarks, reading list etc..

The search button positioning makes it easier to access the URL bar, especially if you’re using a larger handset. This means you don’t have to stretch your thumb or deploy a second hand to help out.

Overall the design is a little more rounded with softer features. The tabs menu has also been overhauled with a neat side-scrolling mode that makes it easy to switch between incognito tabs, open tabs and those that may be open on the desktop interface via your Google account.

Here’s a look at the refresh on iOS:

Enabling the new UI is pretty simple too.

1) First you’ll need to ensure you’ve installed Chrome 68 from the App Store
2) Open Chrome and browser to chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md
3) Scroll down to the “UI Refresh Phase 1” heading and select “enabled”
4) Restart Chrome

The changes in the desktop version are also available by following the same method only you’ll need to select “UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome” and switch from from default to refresh in the experimental flags settings.

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The feature was discovered by an intrepid Redditor who had a dig through the experimental flags. The Material Design refresh doesn’t appear to have hit Android phones yet.

Have you had a play with the new Material Design refresh for iOS yet? Share your thoughts with us @TrustedReviews on Twitter.