The latest Canary build of Google Chrome includes a nifty feature that automatically chooses a browser color scheme based on the background it displays when you open a new tab. The feature was first spotted by u/Leopeva64-2 on Reddit, which shows how changing the new tab background automatically changes the color scheme of the browser’s address bar and interface. It was previously possible to manually change Chrome’s color scheme to one of your choice, but this simplifies the process.
According to Google’s software, “the feature allows you to set theme color based on the color of the background image when the background image is changed to New Tab Page”, and is available on Mac, Windows and Linux, as well as Google’s own ChromeOS and Fuchsia operating systems.
We were able to enable the “Customize Chrome Color Extraction” feature in version 110 of Chrome’s Canary build (specifically 110.0.5418.0) to test it ourselves. It seemed to work best with more colorful backgrounds, while darker backgrounds made Chrome’s interface muddy black, brown, or gray — not much of an improvement over the default color scheme. We were able to get it to work with Google’s own wallpapers, although the automatic color theme option didn’t work when we uploaded our own image. It is not clear if this is a bug or by design.
The feature is not enabled by default. If you want to try it out instead, you need to enable the Chrome flag ‘chrome://flags/#customize-chrome-color-extraction’. Once it’s enabled, open a new Chrome tab, click the pen icon at the bottom right of the new tab window, and select a new wallpaper to display the color scheme in the Chrome interface. Once you select a wallpaper, the color scheme will remain in different tabs as you browse the web.
There’s no word on if or when the feature will see a wider rollout, but given it’s currently an opt-in feature on the Canary build of Google Chrome (which is the earliest beta of its software), we wouldn’t expect it. that it was a widespread release for at least a few months.