Google Chrome is getting more touch-friendly, with a visual overhaul on the way

Google Chrome

With the rise of touchscreen Windows devices and touchscreen Chromebooks, it makes sense for Google's web browser to become more friendly to prodding fingers and styluses, and a touch-enhanced version of Chrome is now available in the Canary channel – the early, buggy version of the app aimed at developers.

It features a rounded address bar and a circular new tab button, amongst other flourishes, and makes various interface elements easier to stab with your digits or a stylus. As XDA Developers reports though, a much bigger visual overhaul is on the way. 

Dubbed "Material Design 2", the new look will apparently debut on the browser's birthday (September 2 if it isn't already marked in your diary). Material Design is the clean, card-based design you see in just about every Google app on the web and mobile, so presumably the new look is built on that.

Please update your browsers

As for what Material Design 2 will actually change, your guess is as good as ours at this point, as there are no previews available. A revised color palette will almost undoubtedly be included, to give the new browser some visual oomph, but for the rest of the flourishes we'll have to wait a few months yet.

Google is always updating Chrome for desktop and mobile with new features – like the long-press of the back button to get to your browsing history on Android – but they're not always immediately obvious. It sounds like the next big update certainly will be.

Will Google's other apps, from Gmail to Google Maps, be in line for a visual refresh as well? We'll have to wait and see. NetMarketShare is currently reporting that Chrome enjoys a 60 percent slice of the desktop browser market, with the ageing Internet Explorer the rival sitting in second place with a little over 12 percent.

Via 9to5Google

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.