Windows 11 to get more design changes – here’s our first look

Windows 11’s native title bar for apps could soon benefit
from Mica as Microsoft is extending the ‘Mica’ effect to the
title bar of the OS. This change could bring Mica to more apps.

Microsoft has already started working on the next big feature
called “Windows 11 22H2” which is expected to debut in the fall
of 2022. As part of Windows 11 version 22H2, Microsoft is
planning to improve the existing interface of the OS by
bringing Mica+Fluent to more apps using different frameworks.

As you’re probably aware, Fluent Design is a design language
part of both Windows 11 and Windows 10, and it embraces light
and depth to move away from the flat look of Windows 8. It
comes with design materials like “Acrylic” which is a
translucent material for menu, dialog background or entire app
window.

With Windows 11, Microsoft is adding a new design material to
its Fluent Design Language family. The material is called
“Mica” and it is a translucent blur effect that allows your
desktop wallpaper to shine through the app windows. In a way,
it’s similar to Acrylic Blur or Windows 7’s Aero Glass.

Like acrylic, Mica’s transparency effect is scaled back
automatically in power saving mode or if the device is
slow/outdated. While it’s a translucent effect, Mica is a
subtle change and it samples the desktop wallpaper once to
create its visualization, so it is faster than acrylic
material.

At the moment, Windows 11’s Mica doesn’t work with all modern
apps, but this could change soon. According to new references
spotted in Windows 11 preview builds (Build 22509 or later),
Microsoft is planning to extend Mica to the “FrameHostTitlebar”
of modern apps or even legacy apps.

Mica dark mode

Mica is already present in core apps, some modern programs are
unable to benefit from Mica in the production build.

Microsoft now appears to be testing
“MicaBackdropInApplicationFrameHostTitlebar” flag, which has
been spotted in newer builds.

As the name suggests, the flag adds Windows 11 Mica effect to
the title bar of apps like Feedback Hub. This could be a
good thing, given that users will be getting some extra UI
polish without downloading updates from the Microsoft Store.

“Tabbed” design material spotted

Interestingly, it looks like the tech giant is experimenting
with another design material called “Tabbed” which appears to
be based on Mica or it could be a variant of Mica.

In
Windows 11 Build 22523 SDK’s Win32
API, users have spotted new and strange ‘tabbed’ design
material.

As you can see in the above screenshots of “System Backdrop
Types”, “Tabbed” design material appears to be a darker version
of the existing “Mica”.

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