Microsoft Edge has brought back the Mica effect for Windows 11, allowing users to enable it through the flags menu (edge://flags) in the Canary version of the browser. This update, version 118, not only reintroduces the Mica effect but also includes other improvements such as replacing the Bing icon with the AI-powered assistant, Copilot. Additionally, there are enhancements to the “Find on Page” function using AI, new SmartScreen policies, and more detailed update controls. Access to these updates can be found in the Edge settings.
As Microsoft Edge is now the only supported browser by Microsoft on Windows, the company has been continuously adding new features to make it more competitive against Google Chrome and other browsers. One of these features is the Mica effect, which has been brought back to Edge’s title bar and toolbar. Mica is a dynamic material exclusive to Windows 11 that creates a visual bridge between the theme and desktop wallpaper by painting the background of app windows with the desktop background. To enable this effect, users can follow these steps:
1. Update Edge to the latest build (120.0.2167.0 or newer) on the latest Windows 11 Canary build.
2. Open the flags page by navigating to edge://flags.
3. Find the “Show Windows 11 visual effects in title bar and toolbar” page.
4. Enable the flag and restart Edge.
5. Go to Settings and open the Appearance tab.
6. Enable the “Show Windows 11 visual effects in title bar and toolbar (Preview)” option and restart the browser.
7. The Mica effects will now be visible on the browser.
While Microsoft has been slower to introduce the Mica effect compared to Google’s implementation in Chrome, they have made additional changes to Edge with version 118. One notable change is the removal of the Bing icon on the sidebar in favor of Copilot, Microsoft’s new AI-powered assistant. The internal page of Bing Chat AI has also been updated to reflect that Bing is now a Copilot for the Edge browser. These changes do not impact the existing functionality of AI in Edge, and users can still utilize Copilot throughout the browser, including PDF pages and the mini context menu.
Furthermore, Microsoft has confirmed the following new changes in Edge version 118:
– The deprecation of the Microsoft Edge for Business Banner, which will no longer be visible in the business version of Edge.
– A new version of the “Find on Page” feature that allows users to easily search for words or phrases on a webpage, even if they are misspelled. AI technology is believed to be utilized to improve this feature.
– New SmartScreen policies that grant administrators the ability to control and create a dictionary of file types exempted from SmartScreen.
– New Update policies that provide more granular controls.
Users can try out these changes by updating Edge through the Settings > About section.