What you need to know

  • Microsoft is bringing a dark mode to Outlook and the rest of its Office mobile apps.
  • Outlook and Office.com will see the updates today, while the rest of the Office mobile suite will be updated alongside iOS 13's launch.
  • This brings the mobile apps in line with the rest of Microsoft's Office suite on other platforms.

Microsoft announced today that it's finally bringing a dark mode to Outlook mobile, the rest of the Office mobile suite, and Office.com. Outlook mobile and Office.com are the first to get the treatment starting today, while the rest of the Office mobile apps will follow once iOS 13 launches later this year.

"A cross-company design collaboration propels us to seamlessly bring Dark Mode to the broader M365 product suite, and today marks the initial rollout of Dark Mode on Outlook for iOS and Android, as well as Office.com," Microsoft said in a blog post announcing the new design. "The upcoming launch of iOS 13 will then extend this rollout to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneDrive, Planner, and To-Do on mobile."

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Microsoft says that it conducted research into the contexts in which people might use dark mode, specifically looking to avoid experiences where dark mode "can be neon or overly bright." The design they settled on for Outlook was met with a positive response, with people describing it as "crisp, clear, and aesthetically pleasing."

One of the benefits of dark mode is that it can reduce eye strain, but Microsoft is also focused on reducing battery consumption as well. When you engage battery saver mode on Android today, it will automatically switch Outlook to dark mode. In the next updates to iOS and Android, Outlook will automatically switch over to dark mode according to your OS preferences.

Another goal, Microsoft says, was to align all of the Office apps in terms of design. The teams settled on a single palette, along with details like contrast and brand color saturation to produce a sense of consistency across apps.

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on mobile are set to pick up their dark mode treatments alongside the launch of iOS 13 later this year. Dark mode for Planner and OneDrive on the web are also in the works, but there's no hard timeline available for those updates just yet.

Outlook

Outlook is a multiplatform email client and calendar app that allows you to send and receive emails through all of your accounts and stay up to date on your schedule.

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