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‘Dark themed’ Outlook in Windows Phone 8 spotted in the wild

Outlook Dark Theme

Say hello to dark and mysterious Outlook

Rum: 10

Update: We have confirmation that this feature is indeed in the final release. More over, it's an optional setting within the app.

Outlook for Windows Phone has been given a second look for those who enjoy using the dark theme. AnandTech took the recently announced Lumia 920 for a spin and in their hands-on video footage, one can clearly see Outlook sporting a different look – it’s certainly easy to overlook if you’re not the most observant soul.

While we can see the email listing rendered in a dark theme as opposed to the usual light (possibly reflecting the selected OS theme or it could well be an app-specific setting), it looks as though email creation and possibly reading will still be done on a light theme. We're unable to shed any light (pun not intended) on this so email reading could well follow suit and take on dark themes too.

Check out the video below to see the quick glance at the Windows Phone 8 Outlook app - at about 4:14. We also get to see the sensitive screen put to the test.

What do you make of the new style to Outlook on Windows Phone? Will you be using the light or dark theme in Apollo? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

Thanks, Travis L, for the tip!

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Reader comments

‘Dark themed’ Outlook in Windows Phone 8 spotted in the wild

46 Comments

Well, that's just great...  They finally are coming out with a dark theme for Outlook which saves battery on AMOLED screens, and my next phone will probably be Nokia 920 which uses LCD.  Wanted this on my Focus for a while now.

Oh, well... still will be easier on the eyes, I suppose.

You have to see the LCD on the 920 in person. I saw it at the Lumia NYC event. It rapes OLED screens and Nokia says it should be fully visible even in direct sunlight.

The one problem with LCD's is the fact that you cannot use them properly with Polarised Sunglasses. Love the fact I can view my 800 at any angle with my Oakleys on. An iPhone blacks out at 90 degrees which is how I generally have my phone whilst driving. Hopefully the CBD polarisation helps with this effect.

White text on dark screen is the worse thing for the eyes. Research shows that dark text on light yellowish background is the most relaxing solution.
But it is great that the dark theme is an option now for people who like it.

That's actually not quite right :)

Dark on white is better for reading: jap! Totally true!

 But white on dark is much better for "scanning". Scanning means: you look for important information by skimming the words. In our case (listing of emails) we actually will use scanning. So white on dark is much better. But for reading and writing the theme will change to dark on white (At least that's what we can see in the video. Would make sense to me). 

Here is a Link for the reading themes explanation:
http://uxmovement.com/content/when-to-use-white-text-on-a-dark-background/
 

Is that the Mic icon that has been added as well (was greyed out the whole time because he didn't click in the body of the message, couldn't quite make it out)? Looks like you will be able to dictate email messages with voice as well?  I am so needing this feature, I tend to dictate a text message with voice while driving, then copy paste into email.

I don't think there will be a 940 ever as nokia never uses '4' in their model numbers as there is no 400 series too so 930 or 950 maybe :)

A comment above made by Georgolos touches on this:
 
"That's actually not quite right :)
Dark on white is better for reading: jap! Totally true!
 But white on dark is much better for "scanning". Scanning means: you look for important information by skimming the words. In our case (listing of emails) we actually will use scanning. So white on dark is much better. But for reading and writing the theme will change to dark on white (At least that's what we can see in the video. Would make sense to me). 
Here is a Link for the reading themes explanation:
http://uxmovement.com/content/when-to-use-white-text-on-a-dark-background/"
 
This makes sense to me as well.

Yea I hope this is included and make the music app the same way. I use the white theme now and its so ugly seeing the background turn black then white again when I play music. Also I hope they include more artist art, most of it is dark and again looks out of place on the startscreen. Or even better, let the user upload some in the computer app.

Every feedback is now in accent color and drop-down lists get a colored border. I don't really like that, makes the Metro UI look a bit childish. Add to this how the large Tiles are now rotating: they swing back a bit when they rotate.
 
Why Microsoft? Why do you change so much on Metro? It is great as it is, improve and implement more features!

If I am remembering what I read correctly, the tile rotation and feedback color is a Nokia blend, not OS.

Wooooooh! I've been asking about this for ages, getting all kinds of answers and explenations why it wouldn't be right. I love this!

I hope they give you the ability to add a backgroud image to the music hub because most of the music I play is not on the marketplace and it's a shame looking at that black background.
I have the MPATOOL XAP file that allowes you to add artist  but that's only good if your phone is dev unlock.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SmtJLE78dc

Indeed. Why on earth doesn't it use the local albumart as background? 99% of mp3s have them stored in id3tags or in the musicfolder.

Maybe then they will add a WHITE screen choice for the calendar, along with a week view? I find the calendar yo be the least functional built jn app. Hard to read quickly, to many minute choices, and no week view.

Tell me about it.......
The lack of a week view and support of categories in WP devices is ridiculous.
I also hope they fix the fact that if you have an exchange and a MSN account you cannot move emails between them and choose which account to use to reply to incoming ones.

OMG!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! :D Seriously, yeah, I just reacted this way as soon as I saw the headline. This is freaking awesome!

Good to know. I really love the dark theme and couldn't get why MS didn't do it in the mail app.
One more reason for the 920, one less reason for keeping the 900.

I don't think I've ever used Office, but if I did, I can't imagine I would want to use this dark theme.  White screen with black text is much easier on my eyes.  It's certainly great to have options, though.