While Google is expected to showcase a new Material Design version at its I/O developer conference later this year, the latest Canary build of Chrome browser gives a glimpse of what's cooking up behind the scenes. The new developer build brings rounded UI elements that can be observed from the revamped address bar and tabs. It has also been spotted that instead of the "Material Design 2" that was expected originally, Google is building a "Material Design Refresh" this year that is likely to come with some significant upliftments over the existing Material Design version.
The latest Chrome Canary for Windows (version 68) has a new interface that includes rounded tabs. These tabs look quite different from the ones that are presently available on the current public build of Chrome browser and have a sharp appearance. Also, some rounded treatment has been given to top buttons, including the back, forward, and refresh. There is additionally an upgraded address bar that is grey in colour, unlike the white-coloured address bar of the existing Chrome browser.
In terms of minimal changes, the account avatar icon that you can see just next to the minimise button on the public Chrome version has been moved to the toolbar - next to the address bar - in the latest Canary version. Google has also added a floating effect that can be noticed in the Omnibar dropdown.
You need to switch to the 'Refresh' option by visiting flag "chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md" after installing the latest Chrome Canary version on your system to observe the changes. It is unclear by when Google will bring these tweaks to the public Chrome release.
Meanwhile, folks at 9to5Google have spotted an updated Material Design document that includes references to a "Material Design Refresh". The document also highlights the new Toolbar iconography. Moreover, instances of the refreshed Material Design with rounded icons were previously visible through a recent redesigned Gmail leak.
We need to wait until the I/O conference that is happening in May to catch all the details about the new Material Design language.