Recently a post on Chromium Gerrit revealed Google’s plans to revamp the downloads UI in Chrome. Several days after the initial coverage, the promised redesign landed in Chrome Canary for public testing.
The stable version of Chrome keeps all downloads on a “shelf” at the bottom of the window. The latest update of Chrome Canary ditches that UI in favor of a more compact flyout.
Now, when the user starts downloading a file, the browser shows a download button on the toolbar next to the address bar. The button has a radial indicator bar to let the user track the progress without obscuring the content of the open web page with additional UI elements.
Once the browser finishes downloading a file, the downloads button changes its icon to indicate completed downloads. Also, Chrome hides the button after 24 hours since the last download.
Overall, the latest iteration of the downloads UX in Chrome Canary mimics the on in Edge, although the latter offers several additional features, such as pinning the button to the toolbar.
It is worth mentioning that the new downloads experience in Google Chrome is currently in its infancy. The button lacks the progress circle—which is why it appears so small on screenshots—and it is available only to a subset of Chrome testers in the Canary channel.
It appears that Google does not plan to offer Chrome users an option to choose between the classic and new downloads UI. Still, it will probably take quite a while before Google starts shipping the updated downloads experience to all users in the Stable channel.
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