Ever since the first release, Chrome has had a hidden settings page, found at chrome://flags. There, you’ll find toggles and switches for hundreds of features in Chrome, ranging from in-progress experiments to completed functionality. But all that time, the page has stayed pretty much the same, progressively becoming harder to use as the number of flags continues to climb.
Thankfully, the flags page is getting some much-needed attention. Chrome Story discovered a pull request on the Chromium Gerrit, titled ‘Redesign of the chrome://flags page.’ This is the description:
- Improve responsive design for mobile devices. Larger touch targets.
- Simplified the warning blurb.
- Add in page flag search for better filtering, significantly better search experience on mobile devices.
- Add tab interface separating Available and Unavailable flags.
- Uses updated modern colour scheme and typography.
- Display Chrome version number on the page.
This is a massive improvement over the current flags page, especially when it comes to finding the flag you’re looking for. Having to use Chrome’s ‘Find in page’ search always felt clunky; I’m glad there will finally be an inline search.
As for what the result will look like, a mockup can be found here, but the image is over a year old. Now that most pages in Chrome are Material Design (downloads, history, settings, etc), it seems likely that the flags page would follow. One of the CSS files used in the new flags page is called ‘text_defaults_md.css,’ with the ‘md’ likely standing for Material Design.
Hopefully the pull request will be accepted soon, I’m definitely excited to see the finished product.
The bug report has been updated with screenshots of what the new flags page looks like.
The new flags page has been enabled in Chrome Canary. At the time of writing, the latest Canary update for Android does not have the new design, but it should be included within a day or two.