Google’s Dynamic Colors system for Material You appears to be coming to ChromeOS nearly a year after it launched with Android 12.
Last year, Android 12 and Pixel 6 series phones launched Material You, the third generation of Google’s Material design language. Beyond making the interface more flat and streamlined, Material You’s main feature is the ability of apps and widgets to adapt to different color schemes. On Android 12 and later, “Dynamic Colors” uses your wallpaper to create a custom theme for your phone.
Meanwhile, ChromeOS has already been somewhat adaptable to your wallpaper, with some elements using transparency to let your wallpaper show through. However, for the most part, Chromebooks have stuck with a design that fits 2018’s Material theme better than the new Material You styles.
Now that’s about to change, according to a new flag, which should be coming to ChromeOS Canary in the coming weeks.
Hardware ChromeOS Next MVP
When enabled, runs ChromeOS in Material Next MVP mode.
Let’s break down what we’re looking at here. For starters, “Material Next” is how Google often internally refers to Material You, while Material Theming used to be called “MD2.” Then there’s the term “MVP,” which is short for “minimum viable product.” That means we’re only looking at the beginnings of ChromeOS’ Material You redesign, not anything Google plans to launch.
That said, there are discussions about changing the flag name and description to focus on just one feature, dynamic colors. To that end, the only thing the flag currently changes is that it will add a “color mixer” to ChromeOS that can be adjusted and updated on the fly, allowing color and theme changes to be reflected immediately. on your device.
Right now, however, there’s nothing in place to select one or more colors to use as a reference for a new ChromeOS theme. It’s easy enough to imagine ChromeOS would follow Android’s path and use your Chromebook’s wallpaper colors, but it’s too early to confirm that.
Either way, it seems clear from the sheer number of customizable colors that Google wants ChromeOS’ version of Material You Dynamic Colors to be used system-wide. But, given how far along the feature is, it’s unlikely that Dynamic Colors will be fully launched for Chromebook owners before the end of the year. With any luck, we should be able to get a first look at the upcoming redesign in the coming weeks or months.
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