Chrome could soon get a big AI upgrade – including personalized themes

Google is working on a couple of new generative AI features for its Chrome browser like the ability to generate custom themes on desktop.

It’s similar to the Customize Chrome tool that came out back in May, although it’ll offer a lot more options. Looking at the demo videos shared by notable industry insider Leopeva64 on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter), Create Theme with AI, as it’s called, will ask you to first pick a subject from among 12 categories. The selections include objects in Space like the sun, famous US cities, to notable locations around the world such as the Great Wall of China. From here, you can choose a specific art style to mimic; be it an oil painting or 3D animation. 

See more

Users can then fine-tune their creations by picking out a mood. In the demo, a romantic undertone was chosen for the solar system theme. There’s also a palette of colors if you want to skew the output towards a certain hue. 

Once everything’s been chosen, you then click the Create button to generate your very own theme – at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. The feature actually fails to produce anything in the demo.

Experimental tech

You see, Create Theme with AI is currently exclusive to Chrome Canary, an experimental version of the browser primarily meant for developers who want to try out Google’s “bleeding edge” tech. There's no guarantee it'll work as intended right now. We installed the app on our computer to see if we were able to take the generative engine out for a spin, but unfortunately, it was inaccessible to us. The tool wasn’t on Canary’s Flags list.

Everyone can download the browser; there are no restrictions. However, keep in mind that because it’s experimental, it can be unstable. Chrome Canary will sometimes randomly crash. Google even warns people in the Flags list that enabling the nascent features could cause you to lose browser data or even compromise your security. So, exercise caution when installing Canary.

If you manage to become one of the lucky few with access, don’t get too attached. Canary tests aren’t guaranteed to see the light of day in a future release. At most, they’re a clue for where Google might be heading with its software. If does come out, the feature may look or function differently.

Helping you post

As mentioned earlier, there is another generative AI tool in the works for Chrome called Help Me Write. Variations of this feature have been spotted elsewhere on Gmail for mobile as well as Google Docs. Hints of the upgrade exist on the company’s Chromium website, and according to what 9To5Google was able to piece together, it functions very similarly. Help Me Write can offer “contextual writing suggestions” for posts or online reviews, for example. All users have to do is enter a short prompt to help get the AI started.

It’s unknown when this second update will be released as it is still under development. 9To5Google thinks it could come on Chrome 122 at the earliest which is scheduled to arrive in February 2024. However, like with Create Theme with AI, don’t hold your breath. Things can always change at the last minute.

While we have you, check out TechRadar's recently updated list of the best laptops for 2023.

You might also like

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Spotify could soon let you turn off personalized recommendations

While we're patiently waiting for Spotify Wrapped 2023 to drop, it seems as though a tweak is on the way in terms of how recommendations are served up: Spotify would appear to be testing the option to turn off personalized recommendations.

This comes from code spotted in a beta version of one of Spotify's apps, by a MacRumors source. At the moment though, we don't know much else about this potential new feature or how it might work if it rolls out to users.

Personalized recommendations are of course based on listening history and habits, so presumably most people will want to keep them switched on to see more music that matches their tastes. Without the personalization, presumably the recommendations would be what's trending and popular, or picked out by Spotify staff.

It does seem that this will be an optional extra for users, so personalized recommendations are by no means going away. It might also be useful if someone else (like your kids) are using your Spotify account – though the Taste Profile features do help you modify the way your recommendations work, to some extent.

Keep on tracking

By default, Spotify does of course keep tabs on everything you do in the app, to make sure you're never short of something to listen to – you can have playlists automatically continue with related music, for example. These algorithm-driven recommendations apply to Spotify audiobooks and podcasts too.

There's a possibility that some people just don't want to be driven by algorithms and AI, or don't want Spotify keeping tabs on every playlist they put on, or both. Until we get an official word on what this new setting might mean, we can only speculate about why it would be implemented.

This built-in tracking is what makes features such as Spotify Wrapped 2023 work, giving you a deep dive into all the tracks you've played over the years – and perhaps surfacing some listening trends that you wouldn't otherwise have noted.

We will of course keep you posted if we hear anything else about what might be happening with Spotify and personalized recommendations. In the meantime, check out our Spotify tips and tricks guide to get more out of the music streaming service.

Follow TechRadar on TikTok for news, reviews, unboxings, and the best deals!

You might also like

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More