Slow and steadily, Material Design is making its way into the Chrome browser. Right now there is a behind-the-scenes update that brings the more polished look to the Chrome notification panel. If you aren’t familiar with this feature, it is under the bell icon in the taskbar in Chrome. It gives you notifications from other Google services like Google+, Google Photos and the like. Previously, this panel was pretty slow to load and frankly, looked a bit dated when you compare it to the beautiful Material Design look of other parts of the browser or even Google’s own websites. If you have the latest version of Chrome browser, you will get this update and will know you have it when you see a couple of visual clues.
First, the color changing orb that shows up when notifications are loading is gone. Now you a simple, clean progress bar at the top of the panel. Second, you will see your notification in sub-divided areas. So update for Google+ are under one section, Google Photos for another, and so on.
Finally, if you don’t have any notifications and are curious if you have received the update, just go to the Settings in the panel. If you see toggle switches for enabling/disabling things then you have
it. If you still see checkboxes, you haven’t received it yet. As this is a push from Google, there is no real way to force the update. It’ll get to you when it gets to you.
While having the new Material Design look is nice, the bigger benefit is the speed improvements. This new panel lots a lot faster than the old one, which at times seemed to get stuck if you had a lot of notifications. In using it this morning, it seems much faster now and loads much more smoothly.
Keep checking the notification panel over the course of the next day or two. Also, make sure you are running the latest version of Chrome.