As we continue to evolve from desktop only to hybrid users and now to mobile-dependent digital productivity users, our tools and apps need to evolve as well. For some time now, Microsoft has been studying and introducing new features here and there to their mobile apps to cater the growing numbers of users that can work on their smartphones and tablets as efficiently as on their computers and laptops. Microsoft has now announced the redesign of their flagship apps to facilitate better mobile productivity.
Microsoft is bringing their Fluent design, or at least a mobile-born interpretation of the system, to their apps for Android devices (and iOS too) so that whichever app you’re using feels like Microsoft and at the same time is highly convenient and productive. They focused on seven signature elements that will be consistent across apps: the app icon, splash screen, cells, cards, typography, people, and file lists. You’ll get search bars at the top, content in the middle, and the menus at the bottom which makes it simple and familiar.
But at the heart of their design, they want the apps to connect and work together as part of just one whole productivity system that can help you get things done even when you’re away from your traditional work station. The aforementioned design elements help connect these apps like OneDrive, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word. They will eventually be redesigning other apps like Planner, Yammer, and Teams. Fluent will eventually evolve to helping students and firstling workers working on 3D experiences.
iOS users will also now enjoy the “Play My Emails” feature in Outlook which is basically what its name says it is. It will read out your emails like you were getting a news update from your favorite digital assistant. Unfortunately, Android users will have to wait a little while longer as it is expected to arrive on the platform early next year. The Read Aloud feature on Word and Office apps also offer a similar experience while scanning documents and tables have been previously added to Office, OneDrive, and other apps.
The update to the perviously mentioned mobile apps have started rolling out but it may take a while to get to you so just be on standby. If you’re using the whole Microsoft productivity ecosystem then this redesign will be very much appreciated.