Making Chrome more beautiful

That’s right, I’m a Chrome-aholic.  I used to use Firefox for everything, but it was really Firebug that we all loved.  I switched to Chrome not long after it came out, and I’ve never looked back.

One thing that can be fun to play with are the Chrome Flags.  These are internal feature flags which you can set to change the way Chrome runs, behaves or looks.  It’s beta functionality that’s not quite ready for mainstream release, but you can have a play with if you like.

Here are the ones that I have set…

If you don’t know how to get to them, go to chrome://flags/ in your Chrome address bar.   When you change any, you will be prompted to relaunch Chrome in order to see the changes, so make sure everything is saved first.

#top-chrome-md

Or “UI Layout for the browser’s top Chrome” – this one I have set to “Refresh”.  This sets Chrome’s top bar to use the new Material Design look and feel.  This is what Chrome will look like in the future, but why wait?  It also goes hand in hand with the next one.

#secondary-ui-md

Or “Material Design in the rest of the browser’s native UI – this one I have set to “Enabled”.  This sets the rest of Chrome’s UI to use the new Material Design look and feel as well.  I’m not sure why this needs to be separate from the one above, but there you have it, the future, today!

#omnibox-ui-hide-steady-state-url-scheme-and-subdomains

Or “Omnibox UI Hide Steady-State URL Scheme and Trivial Subdomains” – this one I have set to “Enabled”.  This is a nice little space saver as it remove the “http:” or “https://”, because if you’ve got the other indicators (see below) like the padlock, then you really don’t need this repeating, and also any trivial subdomains (www. and m.).  I do think that websites should use .www, but that doesn’t mean that I need to see it in my address bar.

#enable-mark-http-as

Or “Mark non-secure origins as non-secure” – this one I have set to “Enabled (mark as actively dangerous)”.  Chrome is tightening up on it’s UI markers, switching from positive secure markers, to negative non-secure markers, which is a good thing.  It’s good because website’s should be secure by default.  Setting this flag means that you are ahead of the curve, again seeing the future of what Chrome will look like, hopefully at some point next year.

#simplify-https-indicator

Or “Simplify HTTPS indicator UI” – this one I have set to “Enabled (show Lock icon for all HTTPS pages)”.  I like this because it gets rid of all the Extended Validation (EV) certificate information, which for some sites can be pretty long.  And does it really make a difference to me whether a site has one? (Answer: no).

How nice does that look? (Answer: very!)

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