Groove for Windows 10 Gets a Bit More Fluent

Posted on June 4, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 37 Comments

Groove for Windows 10 Gets a Bit More Fluent

Those interested in the evolving Windows 10 user experience will want to take a look at the Groove app, which just received a Fluent Design System makeover.

As you may recall, Microsoft announced that it would begin implementing its new Fluent user experiences (UXs) this year. And though the firm chose to first publicly discuss this new look and feel when it announced the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, it’s not actually tied to that (or any other) release. Some Fluent UXs are already shipping in Windows 10 apps today, some will be delivered with the Fall Creators Update, and some will come later.

The first wave of Fluent UXs is aimed at modernizing the look and feel of Windows 10. And the new version of the Groove app, which is available now in the shipping version of Windows 10, features the not-so-subtle addition of two of these new user experiences: Acrylic and reveal highlight.

As I noted previously, acrylic about using light and colors to illuminate from behind. It’s the first implement of a so-called “material design,” and while it looks like a transparency or blur, it’s intended to emulate the real world material and, in doing so, create more natural experiences.

The addition of acrylic is obvious in the updated Groove app: The menu bar on the left offers a translucency effect that lets through whatever is visually underneath that area. (Typically, the desktop wallpaper and/or one or more other windows.)

The new Groove app also utilizes a reveal highlight to indicate that items in that menu can be selected. Basically, it’s a standard mouse-over effect, but using light-based visualizations. Here, for example, you can see that the Explorer menu item is fully selectable because the mouse is hovering right over it. But the My Music item, right below it, has a subtle border, too, indicating that there is a UX element nearby that can also be selected.

No, it’s nothing dramatic. But then that’s the point of the Fluent Design System: To modernize Windows in a way that is evolutionary, and not revolutionary.


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Comments (37)

37 responses to “Groove for Windows 10 Gets a Bit More Fluent”

  1. ibmthink

    Can you turn these effects off? I do prefer the non-transparent matte look.

  2. SherlockHolmes

    And here we go again. Why doesnt MSFT get the new UX out at one time? Until the change is complete, there will be 2 UX at the same time. Not good.

  3. wright_is

    Didn't notice the acrylic effect at first... But then I had a black background. Once I moved it over another window, I could see it.

    Meh, why? I find it more distracting than anything else. Maybe it will grow on me.

  4. dallasnorth40

    Yes, it's in the current shipping version of Windows 10. And, it really looks great! I noticed that the transparency is very pronounced when the Groove window has focus. But becomes completely opaque when you move the focus to another application. Nice.

  5. Daekar

    So... why is this change necessary? I mean, was there something wrong with the previous design style? How hard is it to just pick something, anything, and stick with it? As long as both are fit for purpose... why?

  6. Brian560

    Groove was great when you could use it on a Windows Phone but once you had to switch to Apple or Android it became useless. This story is an irritant.

  7. Rob_Wade

    Microsoft, again, has its collective head in the up-and-locked position. "Natural experience"? LOL, it's a frickin' computer and operating system. There's nothing 'natural' about it. And, speaking only for myself, this whole 'fluent' thing is just as annoying, ugly and useless as Aero was.

  8. stlbud

    Microsoft would do better to fix their database issues so Groove stops splitting albums and renaming tracks.

    P.S. Don't tell me to turn it off. It comes enabled by default and by the time you turn it off, the damage has already been done.

  9. Jules Wombat

    Still falls a long way short of the Zune experience.

  10. jimchamplin

    I wish Groove would pick a custom color for its titlebar, or apply an acrylic to it.

    • Lewk

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      There's a couple of concepts showing the menu bar and main content of the app going up into the titlebar having the titlebar diminish. Maybe they'll eventually do that?

      Also there's several concepts showing the titlebar removed entirely from multiple apps, with the Min/Max & Close buttons lowered so it works in Tablet mode as well without it hiding. And looks like it's apart of the app instead of separated into a bar. As though it's a OS level change. Maybe they're waiting for that?

      • jimchamplin

        In reply to Lewk:

        I've seen those weird mockups and they make no sense. Why would the caption buttons need to move down and contract the working area for Tablet mode when it doesn't use those buttons?

        As for mockups diminishing the titlebar, that's totally fine. I'd love that!

  11. BoItmanLives

    "But then that’s the point of the Fluent Design System: To modernize Windows in a way that is evolutionary, and not revolutionary."

    Looks more like it's headed back to Vista and Win7 with the transparencies and gradients. Not sure I'd call that evolutionary when it's something they already had, but decided to throw away in favor of ugly fischer price monocolor tiles.

  12. fishnet37222

    Are you saying this new look is available now in the shipping version of Windows 10? I'm in the Slow ring of the Insider Preview and I still have the old look.

  13. Brian560

    What would be nice is if a person could take all of their music from various music accounts (several iTunes accounts, X Box music accounts, Zune accounts, Groove, Amazon music accounts etc..) and open/combine them into one single Groove account easily. That way I could listen to all of the music I purchased over the years without switching between accounts. That is a problem worth solving. Its the reason I dislike iTunes, and why I would be reluctant to switch to another music service like Groove again. I had groove on my defunct Windows Phone.

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