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Google Is Testing a New Chrome UI (bleepingcomputer.com) 76

Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: Google engineers have rolled out a new Chrome user interface (UI). Work on the new Refresh UI has been underway since last year, Bleeping Computer has learned. The new UI is in early testing stages, and only available via the Google Chrome Canary distribution, a version of the Chrome browser used as a testing playground. Users who are interested in giving the new UI a spin must install Chrome Canary, and then access chrome://flags, a section that contains various experimental options not included in Chrome's default settings section.
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Google Is Testing a New Chrome UI

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Are they going to hide the address bar now?

    • It looks like the main change is they are switching from tabs with angled sides to tabs with vertical sides. Hardly earth-shattering.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        As far as I could see, that is the ONLY change they are making and it looks like shit. The sloped tabs look better.

        Also, I wish they would get away from that ugly ass "material design" crap. It looks like a 5 year old designed it with two Crayolas.

      • by joh ( 27088 )

        As someone who first used the web with NCSA Mosaic I'm SHOCKED. Although, honestly, the angled tabs look better. Whatever. Slow news day?

      • It looks like the main change is they are switching from tabs with angled sides to tabs with vertical sides. Hardly earth-shattering.

        Wait. Doesn't Firefox tabs have vertical sides? Is Chrome actually copying Firefox for once?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2018 @03:59PM (#56490481)

      Material Design aka how to make everything baffling to use.

      In a time when most of us have massive monitors at ridiculous resolutions and tons of space to work with UX designers are trying to bury things under impenetrable icons and flat slabs.

      Minimalism works, but only in the context of functionality, it's why a radio dial used to work so well; power, volume, maybe even station selection in one tactile interface? Classic.

      A big empty box with esoteric iconography? No. What?

      "People should learn while using" ... maybe BUT

      Monkey Brain: Fire burn, squiggly line button ... might be fire ... not risk

      • Monkey Brain: Fire burn, squiggly line button ... might be fire ... not risk

        Words to live by.

      • "People should learn while using"

        If someone thinks that, they fail at UI design before even starting.

        • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

          I couldn't agree more, if the interface is for deleting files or driving a car or launching nukes.

          Harmless UIs are rather good for teaching. I never had to teach my toddler how to scroll on his play tablet, he figured that out through experimentation.

  • Oh crap... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2018 @03:44PM (#56490361)

    So all of Mozilla's work to turn Firefox into a Chromeclone was for notting?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, it looks like they stole some of the Firefox things.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Please say it isn't so, like everything else that's been overhauled recently...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2018 @03:57PM (#56490471)
    I hope it resembles Classic Firefox. Maybe then Mozilla will finally give its users what they really want (albeit for all the wrong reasons).
    • Get someone in Google to create the Firefox UI from 3.x in Chrome as an April Fool's joke.

      Give it to some of their interns to do as a way to learn the Chrome code base as they probably will really think it's a joke. They probably will not know any different because they are unlikely to have used the original Firefox UI for real.

      "Accidently" ship it in the production Chrome code base and then watch as everyone in the real world turns it on... :-)

      Finally, watch as the Firefox team blindly copies this latest a

  • This is good news. If the UI doesn't change then there must not be any progress. Progress!
    • by Misagon ( 1135 )

      BTW. I wish there was a "Sarcasm" option to select when I moderate.
      Now, I had moderated the parent post as "Funny" but the notion disappeared, and it looks as if a moderator agreed with the actual words in the post. The only way to undo moderation is to post... which I do now.

  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Monday April 23, 2018 @04:01PM (#56490499)

    What difference do small imperceptible changes to UI make while Chrome continues to stalk everyone using it?

    • Can you please elaborate? I'm using it right now.
      • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Monday April 23, 2018 @04:57PM (#56490843)

        Can you please elaborate? I'm using it right now.

        You should start by reading chrome privacy whitepaper and controlling privacy policy.

        Next I dare you to open chrome and browse to any site anywhere including exclusively local servers on your own network without chrome calling home to Google. It is impossible to prevent no matter how carefully browser is configured.

        They are uniquely vindictive about it. Much of it uses primary google.com domain used by search engine for data collection without any specific subdomains so it isn't even possible to blacklist by traditional means unless you never intend on using Google search engine.

        FFS even data about autocomplete fields are sent to Google. Chrome is a never ending series of ridiculous excuses to stalk everything the end user does that can't be stopped no matter what no matter how careful the user is to adjust privacy settings. Chrome intentionally engineered to violate the users privacy in every way possible.

        • So... I'm currently downloading Firefox.
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @07:36AM (#56493271) Homepage Journal

          You should start by reading chrome privacy whitepaper and controlling privacy policy.

          FUD. I have read them and they are fine. By default the only stuff Chrome sends to Google is:

          - Unique installation ID when installing and updating
          - Malware/phising protection telemetry, including URLs of potentially malicious sites

          You can disable the malware/phishing protection and Chrome will then not send any information about it. If you believe otherwise post some evidence, like packet captures.

          FFS even data about autocomplete fields are sent to Google.

          Lies. You can opt in to having your Chrome profile data synchronized via your Google account. Google claim this information is encrypted and unavailable to them, and so far there is no evidence to the contrary (e.g. evidence of the data being used by Google, source code suggesting it might be unencrypted, subpoenas for unencrypted form data or browser history). Even if you do opt in, you can choose if you want to include autocomplete data in what you sync.

          If you have evidence to the contrary then please post it, and I personally will start an EU Data Protection claim against them. I'm sure major media outlets will be interested in it too, you could probably sell interviews for some decent cash.

  • A web browser should be simple. A back/forward button, refresh/stop, address bar and tabs. Making kentucky fried interfaces just chases people to alternative browsers. Be like Seamonkey, which still has a 90’s Netscape UI.
  • TFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by darkain ( 749283 ) on Monday April 23, 2018 @04:05PM (#56490547) Homepage

    For those that didn't see TFA, they're not doing a massive overhaul. They've changed the "angled" edges of the tabs at the top to be more square with rounded corners instead. That's it. Nothing else has changed. This is hardly even worth a mention. It is a very VERY minor UI adjustment at best. Then again, when Google changed their logo to fix the kerning by 1 pixel, that was enough to warrant an article here, too...

  • Google has been working on the Chrome UI since last year and all they've come up with is a square/rounded shape to tabs rather than a trapezoidal one?

    Any company that's this worried and putting in this much effort into such minutia is clearly going to be missing the big issues.

    • I don't think it's that Google has been working on this for a year, and a year's work came up with new tab shapes. It's that Google has been making a bunch of incremental changes for the last year, and these tabs are the latest of those changes.

      For example, they recently revised the UI for managing extensions. They're not huge changes. They don't drastically change the way you use Chrome. They're just GUI tweaks, seemingly aimed at making the interface design consistent across their products.

      And in th

      • If they were like Microsoft, they'd suddenly jump to Chrome version 100

        I thought it was Mozilla who suddenly started accelerating their version numbers.

        • Mozilla changed some things about their development and versioning, which resulted in their version numbers changing faster. However, I was making a joke about Microsoft skipping Windows 9, and going straight from Windows 8 to Windows 10.

          Though it's also worth noting that, apparently, skipping version 9 wasn't all about marketing. Part of the problem is that there are a lot of cases where developers assumed that when a Windows version string included "Windows 9" it meant either Windows 95 or Windows 98.

  • ... Firefox copying the new UI. ;)

  • Version 1.0 of anything is the perfect version. My baby duck brain tells me so.
  • I see very little difference.

  • Too late. After the Goolag made clear their utter contempt for free speech, I switched back to Firefox. And I think a lot of other people did too.
    • Exactly this. I haven't used Chrome in about three years. First, it was because I went to a MacBook Pro, and Chrome power usage was terrible. After using Safari for a bit, I rediscovered Firefox. The new plugin system was actually a blessing for me. It feels more stable, less power- and memory-hungry, and offers some features that the other browsers don't have (like "find in links").

      Just to push that last point home; "find in links" basically goes as follows: spot a link you want to click on. Don't click bu

  • Round borders...gross. For some reason, round borders on UI elements make me feel the same as someone who reaches to shake your hand, but sneezes into it first, would make you feel. I literally get this exact same reaction, and it's weird. I hate round borders.
  • Mozilla will have Firefox out with the new UI even before Goggle does.
  • I find the change of the tab design to be going backwards in UI design.

    Crossing lines between tabs to give them a trapezoidal look is not necessarily wider than having a straight line between them.
    If you look closely at the example comparison images, there is not more spacing between the icon and the tab border in the new design except for maybe a single pixel or two.
    It just appears that that the trapezoidal tabs are wider -- and that is a good thing: The crossing lines make the tabs more distinguishable.


    • I disagree on the trapezoidal look vs straight line. I'm looking at the tabs in Safari 9, which uses a bit of shadow between the tabs to give them a slight 3D look, and that makes it easy to see each tab as its own.

      The problem is not trapezoidal look vs straight line. Once again, the problem is like all recent UI problems: the flat GUI phase of designers. I don't know where or why this shit started but I wish one company would put its foot down and throw away all this flat bullshit.

  • What's wrong with the current one? How does the new one improve it? If I were malicious I would think that this is just another shenanigan from the GUI design team to stay relevant. If I were malicious.
  • They need to add a non-minimalistic mode. I have no problem with minimalism as a heavy user, but from my experience light users prefer a more traditional interface where everything isn't hidden. Firefox allows you can turn the menus back on so that takes care of many of the problems.

    I never recommend Chrome to my low tech friends (or parents) for this reason.

Don't get suckered in by the comments -- they can be terribly misleading. Debug only code. -- Dave Storer