Over the past couple of weeks, Microsoft’s Panos Panay has been sharing early looks at new apps in Windows 11. It started with the new Snipping Tool – which rolled out to Insiders last week – followed by Focus Sessions. Today, the head of Windows and Devices at Microsoft shared another early look at a revamped Windows 11 app on Twitter, this time being Paint.
Paint has mostly remained the same since Windows 7, with some very minor UI tweaks in Windows 8, but now things are changing significantly. First and foremost, the new app adds support for dark mode, which for some reason was never done during the Windows 10 era. Overall, the new Paint draws many UI elements from the Windows 11 design language. Icons are updated across the board, but all the same features are still there.
Here’s another @Windows 11 first look. This is the beautifully redesigned Paint app, coming soon to Windows Insiders. Can’t wait to see your creations! #Windows11 #WindowsInsiders pic.twitter.com/jiKyfqQFUV
— Panos Panay (@panos_panay) August 18, 2021
Some menus are also revamped. For example, inserting a text box now shows the text editing tools under the ribbon, instead of having text settings in a separate tab. Meanwhile, the brush menu is now a list instead of a grid, and each of the brushes shows a clearer example of what it will look like. The list of colors on the ribbon also uses circles instead of squares now.
All in all, this seems to be simply bringing the app up to the more modern design language of Windows 11. All of the same features from the classic Paint are here, and the UI tweaks aren’t earth-shattering. With Windows 10, Microsoft tried to promote a new app called Paint 3D for a couple of years, but the interface was radically different and arguably not as intuitive. It added a ton of 3D design tools that made it more complicated, too. With Windows 11, the company seems to have acknowledged that was a bad idea and is instead refining the Paint app everyone actually uses.
As to when we’ll see this new app make its way to Insiders, it’s anyone’s guess. We have yet to see the Focus Sessions feature teased a couple of weeks ago, so these early looks don’t necessarily mean it’s coming that soon. Last week, Microsoft also rolled out a couple of smaller UI updates for the Calculator app and announced a similar update for Mail and Calendar.