This week has been full of surprises, hasn’t it? On Friday, This Week’s Leaks came out, as did some surprise MacBook upgrades (which I’m sure John will tell you about soon). And now for a new surprise: Google Chrome has an interface upgrade! In this post, I test it to see what we’re in for.
NB: I am not a Chrome user or a fan. I’m writing this post because I know that many of our readers belong to the 62% of people who use Chrome, and because I like Google. I am still a FOSS fan and a devout user of Firefox. Thank you
I have heard that the new interface is very touch-screen friendly, so I will be performing this test on my not-so-trusty Surface Pro 1 (which I agonized about in my post on the new Surface Go), so that I can test it’s capabilities. Google have released the new UI in the latest build of Chrome Canary, the bleeding-edge browser for early adopters. So, having downloaded a copy of that, let’s fire it up.
Okay, opening browser now, aaaannd:
Looks nice! It’s very similar to what I remember Chrome being before I switched to Firefox. I especially like the new Firefox-esque square tabs, and the eliptical address bar. I haven’t signed in yet, because I’m on a limited Wifi network and I don’t want it to hoover data in trying to sync. The World Cup is on, so there’s a nice Doodle there as well, to commemorate today’s France vs. Croatia final. Go France!
Now, let’s talk about the address bar. I’ve been noticing that Google are starting to move toward circles in their design, most notably for the Android P dev preview (I hope it will be called Peppermint). This is good, because I like circles.
Okay, so let’s jump through the system pages (extensions, settings, etc) to see if there have been any redesigns. Oh, new interface thing, all the buttons now have curved outlines when you click on them:
Right, moving away from that small distraction, let’s go through the interfaces. Nothing, nothing and nothing. Darn. I have just noticed, though, that the address bar sort of pops out when you type an address:
I also like the new feature where you can press the Tab key and it searches for you. Very nice. Right, now that we’ve got all this down, let’s move on to Part 2 of our test.
According to Google, the new redesign is partly because they like circles and want more, and partly because, with the increasing amount of 2-in-1s and touchscreen laptops making the rounds, they want a more touchscreen-friendly interface. But have they got one? Just a quick test…
Not so trusty Surface Pro 1? Check. Peripherals unplugged? Check. Tablet Mode on? Check. Let’s do this.
Okay, so after running a ten-minute test (where I read a blog or two and used Have I Been Pwned? to check my email for leakage) I gotta say, I have found no difference. None. Nothing. I like tablets, have used them with the latest Firefox, all that good stuff and have found absolutely nothing good. In fact, Firefox is actully better because it complies with Windows’ Tablet Mode policy of Only The Close Button Should Be Visible In Tablet Mode.
In my opinion, Google Chrome’s new design is pretty impressive and should be embraced, but you shouldn’t switch just for the new interface, especicially not for the more “Touchscreen Friendly” nonsense, which doesn’t actually exist. However, that’s just my opinion and if you want to form your own (and are reasnobly geeky), you can download Chrome Canary here. Do note that Canary should be used alongside Chrome, not instead of regular Chrome.
Are you excited for the new interface? Or do you think it will ruin your workflow. Please let us know in the comments!