Microsoft introduced the Mica effect in Windows 11 to create a visually appealing interface, adding a frosted glass-like transparency to certain UI elements such as the Start menu, taskbar, and context menus. It has also spread to first-party apps such as File Explorer, Windows Settings, and Clock, with Microsoft Edge expected to restore it in a better form in the future. Google Chrome could also pick up the same aesthetic design in the future, if a new piece of evidence spotted in Chrome Canary is any indication.
On Twitter, browser researcher @Leopeva64 demonstrated the Mica effect in action on Chrome Canary, which adds texture to the browser’s tab bar. The new visual effect, as shown below, adds a translucent layer on top of certain UI elements.
The intensity of the effect varies based on the desktop’s background or wallpaper. It was previously spotted in the Chromium Gerrit repository last month by the same tipster, so it’s safe to assume it will appear in a future version of Chrome.
The tipster notes that the effect is enabled by default on Chrome Canary, meaning you don’t need to do anything like toggle a flag to get it to work. The frosted glass-like effect creates a sense of depth, making the interface feel more three-dimensional and immersive.
Adding the effect to Chrome on desktop will be a welcome update, bringing the browser more in line with the rest of Windows 11. There are some advantages as well, such as a better experience that allows users to focus on the active tab by making other tabs less prominent. Additionally, the transparency effect allows users to see through certain UI elements, which can be helpful when working with multiple windows.
However, it may be some time before the visual redesign makes its way to stable Chrome on Windows 11. Still, it’s great to see Google incorporate a useful Microsoft design language into one of the best web browsers around.