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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Like acrylic, Mica’s transparency effect is scaled back automatically in power saving mode or if the device is slow/outdated.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 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”.