Update (May 28, 2023): Minor updates to code examples.
Outlook DPI scaling is one of the most common problems encountered when developing emails and supporting Outlook (alongside the 1px horizontal line issue). The severity of impact caused by DPI scaling depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with the email’s design/layout/structure, and how the email is coded.
At Litmus Live Boston and San Francisco this year, I gave a talk on correcting Outlook DPI scaling issues, while also looking at how it applies to Hybrid development, and touched on some other aspects it impacts that are common in email development today.
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Samsung is one of the most popular mobile device brands out there today, so it’s no surprise that we should support it when developing emails. It has its own native email app that comes pre-installed.
This year I was able to get my hands on a Samsung device to test on for the first time. One technique I use with emails is implementing mobile-optimized versions of images — particularly the “hero” image — in order to make them better for mobile devices, rather than just having the desktop version resize down. This involves hiding the inline desktop image and displaying the mobile version as a background image within a media query.
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UPDATE (9/21/2017): Great news, email geeks! Media query support in the Outlook app is being rolled out for iOS and Android! Read all the details over on the Litmus blog.
UPDATE (8/12/2017): If you didn’t see on the Email Geeks slack channel, it was confirmed earlier this week by Kate Everitt from Microsoft that they are working on improving the rendering of the Outlook app for both iOS and Android, including support for media queries, and this would apply to all accounts used with the app. We don’t know when this change will be, but this is great news to hear!
There are many 3rd party email client apps available on iOS and Android to use. With the release of iOS 10, iOS users can even delete the default iOS Mail app, especially if they prefer using a 3rd party app (here’s looking at you, Gmail). And the support across these apps can vary, even between the same apps across iOS and Android devices.
One of these apps is the Outlook app — which used to be one of the best email apps available. You’re probably thinking I’m crazy, considering it’s Outlook after all, but it’s true! The Outlook app used to support responsive emails and media queries, and rendered quite similar to the iOS app. That’s the key here… used to.
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