These Microsoft apps are getting a visual refresh for Windows 11

Windows 11 modern interface

Windows 11 was unveiled in June, with major changes to the
overall interface justifying the jump in the operating system
version number. Windows 11 combines the best of Fluent Design
and WinUI to enable a modern and touch-friendly experience for
devices that meet the minimum requirements.

With Windows 11, Fluent Design is getting better and Microsoft
is also introducing a new design material called “Mica” that
will allow apps and desktop elements to match your wallpaper.
However, these changes primarily affect system elements, which
means app developers need to update their apps to get the most
out of Windows 11.

It should come as no surprise that Microsoft is planning to
update nearly all native apps with Windows 11-inspired look.
The company is, after all, familiar with Fluent Design since
it’s the one working on it for years. In this article,
you’ll find a list of Microsoft apps that will be updated with
Windows 11 look in the near future.

MS Paint

Microsoft is finally giving a major visual overhaul to one
of the most popular apps – MS Paint.

MS Paint refresh

The new MS Paint screenshots first appeared on the Unsplash
Windows page and more details were later shared by Microsoft’s
Windows head Panos Panay. As you can see in the above image, MS
Paint will finally match Windows 11’s Fluent Design language
and new header menu.

MS Paint for Windows 11 design

As expected, MS Paint is finally getting support for Windows
11’s native dark mode settings and new touch-friendly controls
for items in the header menu. There are new icons, rounded
corners, improved colour picker, a new font picker, and a new
way to adjust your brush settings.

As part of the new header design, Paint is getting separate
buttons for undo, save, view, and file.

This visual refresh gives Microsoft Paint a much more modern
appearance and these changes will begin rolling out to testers
in the Windows Insider Program in the coming weeks.


During the June 24 event, Microsoft teased a new look for
Notepad with support for Office or Paint-like header menu.

Paint and Notepad on Windows 11

This compact header menu uses touch-friendly controls and icons
and typography have been updated. It looks much cleaner and
easier on the eyes, and it also matches the look and feel of
Windows 11.

Microsoft Photos app

Microsoft is also refreshing the Photos app with Windows 11. As
part of the update, you can expect a new interface and new
controls that will align with WinUI’s visual refresh.

Photos app

As you can see in the above screenshot, the Microsoft Photos
app seems to be getting a new floating menu that will include
the editing options, such as crop, rotate and more.

Voice Recorder

Voice Recorder app

During the event, Microsoft also teased a new look for Voice
Recorder and it seems to be using WinUI 2.6 controls. In
addition, the left side pane has been updated with improved
padding to better support touch hardware. Likewise, Voice
Recorder can now show sound waves of whatever it records.

Windows Calculator app

Windows Calculator app is also getting a small redesign that
brings the calculating tool in line with the rest of the Fluent
Design approach.

Windows Calculator refresh

The Calculator app has been rewritten in C# and WinUI 2.6’s
rounded corners are now more visible, and dark mode is also
supported. As you can see in the screenshots, the overall
interface of Calculator hasn’t changed much for Windows 11.

Snipping Tool

The other
big change in Windows 11’s app ecosystem concerns the classic
Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch app.

Snipping Tool change

The revamped Snipping Tool has been created using both classic
Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch. You can still access it using
WIN + SHIFT + S keyboard shortcut or you can also search for
the app in the Start menu.

The updated Snipping Tool will support Rectangular Snip,
Freeform Snip, Windows Snip, and Fullscreen Snip.

Clock app

Focus Sessions update

Clock app is getting an updated look with support for Focus
Sessions and Spotify integration on Windows 11 and Windows

The Focus Sessions integration in the operating system will
allow you to pick task from Microsoft To Do and play music in
the background while you complete your work.

Mail & Calendar

Mail client for Windows 11

Mail & Calendar app is also getting visual improvements
(rounded corners).

Other app improvements

  • PowerToys to get Windows 11-inspired settings UI.
  • Microsoft Teams is now based on WebView and it will support
    Windows 11-like UI.
  • Office apps are also getting a visual refresh.

We’re also expecting minor improvements for apps like Groove

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