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.
Microsoft is finally giving a major visual overhaul to one of the most popular apps – MS Paint.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The other big change in Windows 11’s app ecosystem concerns the classic Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch app.
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 is getting an updated look with support for Focus Sessions and Spotify integration on Windows 11 and Windows 10.
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 & 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 Music.