Everyone’s going dark mode in 2019. Microsoft started the trend with its inky black Windows Phone UI design which later spread to M Windows in general. Now the firm has extended tha philosophy to its Office apps on all platforms. To be clear, Microsoft did ship a dark theme on Office since 2010, but now it’s coming to iOS and Android as well.
Today, the firm is darkening Outlook for iOS and Android. When iOS 13 launches, Microsoft will bring a dark theme to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneDrive, Planner, and To-Do.
Microsoft’s Jon Friedman shares the thinking behind it below:
Today’s fast and fluid world constantly blurs the lines between work and life, and we believe in meeting people where they are. Our tools are used to keep up to speed on everything from work communication, to personal events that include friends and family, to changes in shared documents. This often means viewing email, calendars, or files in places where the default white mode may be less suitable, like darkened airplanes, movie theaters, or in bed at night.
Our design research specifically focused on these contexts where folks would want to use Dark Mode, and the response was very positive. While some Dark Mode experiences can be neon or overly bright, people felt that Outlook mobile kept the kind of relaxed feeling you might want in a dimly lit living room or bedroom. They described the experience as comfortable, crisp, clear, and aesthetically pleasing, a nod to how Dark Mode can reduce eye strain.
Google is also adding in a dark theme to Android 10 when that ships later this year, so there’s a chance that the same suite of apps Microsoft has pegged for updates will also go dark on that platform as well.