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Google Assistant is going goth, with dark mode coming to a future Chrome OS update



It’s been almost a year since Google started working on giving Chrome OS some darker hues. Despite the long development time of the dark mode, it still looks quite unfinished today (even in the Canary Islands), and we’ll probably wait a while before Google officially launches it. With the much-sought-after feature slowly pulling towards the finish line, Google has steadily rolled out updates that introduce new sprinkles of dark themed items, such as dynamic theme switching and scheduled dark mode. And now, Google Assistant is rare to embrace its new goth makeover.

We’re been tracking Google’s efforts to add dark and light system themes to Chrome OS since September last year, and since then more details have come from Chromium Gerrit. We are constantly working to ensure that Chrome OS uses dark mode everywhere ̵

1; including Google Assistant, as mentioned in this merged commitment. If you rock the latest Canarian channel built on your Chromebook, you can get a glimpse of the assistant’s gothic look by browsing the following Chrome flags in bold:

chrome: flag # dark-light-mode

Enables dark / light mode in the system interface, which includes shelf, launcher, system tray, etc. – Chrome OS

To enable it, copy the text above to the Chrome address bar, select Enabled from the drop-down menu, and restart your Chromebook. If your desktop starts using a bright theme when it comes up again, open the system tray and click on the dark theme switch (Assistant also has a new light theme – more on that later).

An early look at Google Assistant’s new dark theme.

The most important change you see with the updated Google Assistant is the dark card user interface. It removes the white and adopts a slim, dark hue that is both aesthetic and at the same time easy to look at. It is clear that the dark makeover is far from complete, with suggestions and answers that still use the old light color. There is an ongoing commitment that will extend the darker colors to different parts of the assistant, but we will have to wait for a future update to see it.

Google Assistant also gets a slight color change with a bright theme.

The Google Assistant user interface also gets a subtle update when you use the upcoming Chrome OS light theme. It does not change clean when you turn off dark mode, but if you restart the Chromebook, you will notice the change more clearly: It adopts a light gray color instead of the solid white look, which – I honestly – looks a little strange. I think Google Assistant is not removing the colors properly from the background right now, but that may change soon.

It’s been a long and gradual effort to get dark mode into Chrome OS, but with small changes like this, it’s exciting to finally make its way to everyone. Google still has a bit of polishing to do before everything is clear – the inability to use dark elements across different user interface elements is a reminder that this does not come overnight. Many of us have fallen in love with dark mode on our devices, and I think it’s important for Google to get this right. Let’s not forget the dazzling white boot animation, Google!


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