Windows 11 native title bar for applications could soon benefit from Mica, as Microsoft is extending the ‘Mica’ effect to the operating system title bar. This change could lead Mica to more applications.
Microsoft has already started work on the next big feature called “Windows 11 22H2,” which is expected to be released in the fall of 2022. As part of Windows 11 version 22H2, Microsoft plans to improve the existing interface of the operating system by bring Mica + Fluid to more applications using different frameworks.
As you probably know, Fluent Design is a design language that is part of Windows 11 and Windows 10, and embraces light and depth to get away from the flat look of Windows 8. It comes with design materials like “Acrylic” which is a translucent material for the menu, the dialog background or the entire application 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 application windows. In a way, it is similar to Acrylic Blur or Aero Glass from Windows 7.
Like acrylic, Mica’s transparency effect is automatically reduced in power saving mode or if the device is slow / outdated. While it is a translucent effect, Mica is a subtle change and takes a swatch of the desktop wallpaper once to create its display, making it faster than acrylic.
Windows 11 Mica doesn’t work with all modern apps at the moment, but this could change soon. Based on new references detected in Windows 11 preview builds (build 22509 or later), Microsoft plans to extend Mica to the “FrameHostTitlebar” of modern applications or even legacy applications.
Mica is already present in mainstream applications, some modern programs cannot benefit from Mica in production build.
Microsoft now appears to be testing the “MicaBackdropInApplicationFrameHostTitlebar” flag, which has been detected in newer versions.
As the name suggests, the flag adds the Windows 11 Mica effect to the title bar of apps like Feedback Hub. This could be a good thing, given that users will get additional UI polish without downloading updates from the Microsoft Store.
Design material with “tabs” detected
Interestingly, it appears that the tech giant is experimenting with another design material called “Tabbed” that appears to be based on Mica or could be a variant of Mica.
In the Windows 11 Build 22523 SDK Win32 API, users have encountered strange new tabbed layout material.
As you can see from the above “System Background Types” screenshots, the “Tabbed” design material appears to be a darker version of the existing “Mica”.