Given its large user base, Google rarely makes big changes to the browser’s interface. However, a redesign under development plans to “modernize” Chrome Omnibox on Android, and the result is very similar to the Pixel Launcher.
12/10 update: Since September, Google’s work on the address bar redesign has continued and is now undergoing more extensive A/B testing. One of my devices got this natively in the current stable version (chrome 108), is also live in beta (version 109). The company has not committed to launch, but wider availability is a good indicator.
After using it for the last few days, I was surprised at how similar it was to the newly introduced unified Pixel Launcher search. Android 13 QPR1. The similarity can be quite jarring and I thought I had gone to the wrong screen.
LR: Pixel Launcher, Chrome available, Chrome new
The unboxed search fields have a colored version of the “G” logo on the right and audio/Lens shortcuts. The list layout is also the same, with an icon on the left and an arrow on the other.
original 9/22: When Chrome was released in 2008, one of the most important aspects of the design was that there was a single field to enter/view URLs and search the web. Google has called it the Omnibox, and in recent years “Chrome Processes” this is the link to important browser settings. This combines how the box displays quick responses to selected queries and images.
At least since Chrome 105 (currently in stable release) there is a flag called “Omnibox Modernize Visual Update”. Only available for Android, chrome://flags/#omnibox-modernize-visual-update “It will display a new visually updated UI.”
chrome 108 (canaries) offers the most advanced design with three “Active” variants in addition to the general option.
The current design is a very simple list of URLs and search suggestions. This doesn’t really change with the refresh, but each result is placed on a card (with a darker background) to help distinguish elements. In addition, the corners of the top and bottom cards are rounded. This design is quite reminiscent of unified Pixel Launcher search Android 13 is live in QPR1 Beta. Consistency is an interesting approach.
Meanwhile, the “no active color omnibox” variant/flag removes the pill-shaped container, interestingly enough, for a look that truly mimics the Pixel Launcher search.
In the statement, Google specifically says “this flag is for step 1 in the Clank Omnibox refresh plan.” This suggests that Google is planning more, which could also affect the Omnibox functionality.
As with all flags, this Omnibox redesign in Chrome for Android may not actually start. However, less of a visual separation Chrome Duplex/Duetso the odds are definitely better.
More in Chrome:
Thanks RKBDI and Michael!
FTC: We use automated affiliate links that generate revenue. Sea.
Leave a Comment