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Designer Reimagines Chrome for iOS 8 With Stunning Results

A material makeover is planned for Chrome on iOS — will it look as good as this?

Google’s new Material Design language is slowly creeping across the search giant’s various apps, sites and services, most recently in Google Chrome for Android.

Introducing cleaner lines, better spacing, thin new icons and logical and expectant animations, the redesigned mobile Chrome is a clear improvement — changes that make the official iOS Chrome app look outdated in comparison!

With the latest release of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 8, rolling out today, September 17, it feels like a good time to look at how the browser could improve its appearance and usability on iPhone and iPad.

Chrome Redesign Concept

Nothing demonstrates potential like a good third-party mockup to help illustrate the gulf between what we have and what we could have.

Dutch UI designer Doney den Ouden has put together a conceptual redesign that shows how Google’s Material Design language could translate to Chrome on iPhone and iPad.

The result is nothing short of stunning. It looks natural and in sync with the design ethic of iOS 7 & 8.

First things first: basic navigation. Ouden reworks the toolbar to be consistent with Material Design guidelines, adding better spacing, lighter colours and new icons. The menu button is repositioned on the far-right of the bar and rendered as a Material Design ‘paper’ menu.

chrome material ios

He adds a new ‘share’ icon to the top tool strip of the menu that, when clicked, would open the native iOS 8 share sheet and not Google’s own sharing menu.

The tab switcher also sees notable improvements in appearance and usability. Open tabs use the same carded design as the activities switcher in Android L, while the New Tab button is remodelled as a ‘floating action button’  in the bottom right corner, in easy reach of the thumb.

iOS 8 chrome makeover mockup

Left: current build. Right: potential redesign

Ouden shares more screens and details his reasons behind some of the changes (for example, his vastly rejigged new tab page) in a blog post on Medium.

Google Chrome for iOS Material Redesign

  • Thonixx

    Awesome design. But I quite like the current design too.

  • Homer J. Simpson

    I don’t understand why fans on the Apple side likes to constantly show “concept designs” when they have nothing to do with Apple. If their devices is so great to them, why do they keep drawing these concept art of what they would like it to be.

    Concept design is as useless as unboxing videos.

    • João Victor Schiavo

      As useless as going to movie theater, playing games, listening to music…
      It’s all about entertainment. Different forms of it.

      • Homer J. Simpson

        No, concept design is like going to movie theatre to watch a fan talk about what he thinks Star Wars 7 is going to be about. Or when you play a modded game of what a fan thinks GTA 5 is going to be like. It’s pointless. Nobody is going to look at an Apple concept design and get excited about it. I like to look at companies that show different prototypes before they come to the final design.. because those actually show their engineering frame of mind and rational for the concepts. Not some guy going “here’s what I think it should look like”

        • João Victor Schiavo

          I personally like concept designs. And a lot of other people too. Some just like to make the designs, I don’t.

          It’s like going to a comic con doing cosplay, showing it, and seeing other people’s cosplays.

          It’s all about entertainment.

  • Maxime Poulin

    I’m not so sure it’s the best idea. Having Android designs leaking over iOS isn’t any better at all than iOS designs that leaked on Android in the past. Each platform have their own UI guidelines, and that’s what makes each platform interesting in their own way. This is also what avoids a complete UI mess of every application having their own design and be potentially very confusing. While I think Material Design is pretty good, I still think Chrome on iOS should look like iOS. Users of each platform know how it works, how apps behave in a general way. You wouldn’t, for example, introduce an Android-style back button at the bottom of the screen on an iOS app or move tabs/menubars to the bottom on Android: you will confuse your users.

    Those designs, they look almost exactly like the Android version of Chrome. In fact, it’s EXACTLY the Android version. He even copied the 3 dots menu icon (which doesn’t make sense on iOS, it’s the hamburger icon on iOS). All he did is add a back button. And it certainly not feel like an iOS app. It’s a very good design on Android, not so good on iOS.

  • pixelstuff

    I’m not seeing the “outdated” look you mention. Both designs look good to me, just different. In fact the old design gives you more information when viewing multiple tabs. Always a plus on mobile.

  • mediumsizedrob

    looks cool but I like the original better. more viewable tabs, and the menu doesn’t cover the navigation bar when it pops up.

  • tiamat2009

    Stunning is not what I would call it… there is hardly any difference.

    Doney den Ouden, who is completely unknown to anyone important in design, is just tying to get some hits to his under-visited site.

    • Porknaut

      Are you expecting a sparkling rainbow theme with unicorns jumping around the bottom of the screen? Of course the difference is going to be subtle.

      This design is a well done refresh.