Google revealed major design changes for its Chrome browser in September, but users rejected the new look from the start. Thankfully the company gave users the option to switch back to the old Chrome UI, but with the latest update, the search giant has now taken that option away, leaving users furious.
Here’s what users don’t like about the new Chrome UI
Google introduced the new Chrome UI with version 69 in September. The new UI was made keeping in mind mobile devices, but users outright rejected it. Luckily those who didn’t want to live with the lighter-toned Chrome interface had the option to visit the chrome: //flags page and tweak the settings to continue using the old UI. However, with Chrome 71, which came out earlier this month, the search giant removed the Chrome flag that enabled users to switch to the older Chrome UI. As expected, this change did not go down well with users.
Since the new interface is designed with mobile displays in mind, the lighter theme and rounded tabs make it harder for laptop and PC users to differentiate between the tabs. According to many users, this flaw is affecting their efficiency, so they have been flooding social media platforms with complaints about the new Chrome UI and also about not being able to switch back to the old interface.
“It’s not Material Design. The design we had before was Material Design. This is called Material Theme. But yeah, Chrome 71 removed it. It looks terrible. It’s too white, round and moving profiles into the toolbar was a mistake,” one user said on Reddit.
Dang, looks the original Chrome UI isn’t available anymore, not even as an experimental flag. I still prefer the old design… the new layout isn’t *awful*, but everything’s huge now, giving less space for the actual content. I don’t approve.
— Matthew Tavendale (@TntMatthew) December 19, 2018
The concerns raised by users are legitimate. It can be extremely difficult to find a specific tab when users have multiple tabs open. To overcome this issue, many users downgraded to older versions like Chrome 70 or earlier to get the option to use the old Chrome UI.
What is Google saying?
With so many users downgrading to the older version, the Chrome team had to come up with a way to discourage users from downgrading, so in a Reddit post, Google engineer Peter Casting urged users not to do it.
“We would really rather you use another browser than try to lock yourself on an old version of Chrome. There are serious consequences to this, and much like choosing not to be vaccinated, the choice affects other people besides just you.”
Casting may be referring to the security updates included in the new Chrome version, suggesting users will put themselves at risk by downgrading to older versions. Further, Casting asks users to give the new Chrome UI some time, adding that many got used to it after “a couple weeks, it’s just the initial adaptation that’s a shock.”
What Casting is saying may not be totally wrong, but Google also needs to understand that Chrome is not just used on mobile devices. Additionally, if users are willing to take the risk to downgrade to older versions, then the search giant must realize that this is a serious issue which needs some attention.
Mozilla faced a similar issue when it released the Australis UI, which faced a massive backlash from users. It was a major reason so many Firefox users switched to Chrome. Microsoft also experienced a similar probably after it introduced the flat-looking Modern UI in Windows 8 to replace the Aero UI in Windows 7. However, Microsoft listened to users and has made major changes to the Modern UI since then. It remains to be seen whether Google will listen to users or not.
Chrome 71 helps block abusive ads
Chrome 71 comes with features which prevent abusive ad experiences by blocking manipulative ad designs. The filters in Chrome 71 do not just fight ads but also other behaviors like auto-redirects without any action taken by the user, trick-to-click experiences like clicking a warning popup leading to another ad, and more.
Sites presenting such abusive experiences get 30 days to correct their behavior. If they fail, all the ads on their site are blocked. Although users will have the option to turn off Chrome 71’s filtering, it is believed that most users will keep the filter on.
Chrome 71 also warns users about sites that try to trick them into paying a fee or conceal their billing structure. The browser also mutes sites which play sound automatically.