Microsoft today revamped its Outlook mobile apps. The new iOS version is rolling out today on Apple’s App Store and the Android version will start rolling out “beginning in early November.” The company also shared that Outlook now has almost 30 million mobile active users, 1 in 5 of those are connecting more than one account, the apps see 1.2 billion sessions per month.
Microsoft launched Outlook for Android and iOS in January. It was a quick move following the acquisition of email startup Accompli for $200 million in December. In February, Microsoft acquired the calendar startup Sunrise. The new design unveiled today is largely thanks to the work done by the Accompli and Sunrise teams, both now part of the bigger Outlook team.
Outlook for iOS
Outlook for iOS’ new look puts your email, calendar, people, and files front and center. User interface elements have been tweaked by adding visual cues to help you see and process information more quickly at a glance, while navigation has been improved to make key features more prominent and so you can do more with fewer taps.
The message list now clearly calls out event invitations, the event icon makes it easy to identify events at a glance, the flag and attachment icons are more prominently displayed on the right side of the message list (like on Windows), and pressing the Mail navigation button takes you back to the top of your inbox. When composing a new message, the attachment options are now easier to access: File and Photo attachments are now available in one tap.
The Calendar navigation icon now shows today’s date, while the Today button moves dynamically as you scroll through your calendar to help you visualize how far away from today you are (the day picker greys out days in the past). You can also drag down the day picker to show a full month view. Event details (date, duration, location) are grouped at the top, while attendees now have green, grey, and red icons that represent their responses to your invitation.
Outlook for Android
Outlook for Android now “deeply” leverages Google’s Material Design mantra and its common interface elements. The header, message list, and compose experiences have all been redesigned, while event details, the People list, and contact details have all got a new Material look.
Contact images now appear to the left of your emails, while more prominent icons help you identify read versus unread emails, pick out event invitations, and see which emails have attachments. The Calendar Agenda view has a new look with more information about your events.
Outlook will replace Sunrise
While Outlook for Android and iOS was really just Accompli’s apps with a few tweaks, the Sunrise team’s calendaring skills still aren’t completely integrated. Microsoft is thus promising better Outlook calendar features “over the coming months.” More specifically, the company is promising “Interesting Calendars and connections to your favorite apps and services” as well as “improvements to Outlook’s ability to create meetings while on the go and handle meetings across time zones.”
Microsoft also announced that Outlook “will eventually replace the current Sunrise app.” The calendar app will remain available “until its features are fully integrated into Outlook, the exact timing of which we will communicate in advance.”
Outlook for Windows Phone
Microsoft still doesn’t have a date for when Outlook for Windows Phone will get all of the above features. The company merely says it is “coming soon,” and we can only hope that it will ready in time for Windows 10 Mobile.
Microsoft plans to launch the first Windows 10 phones in November and roll out Windows 10 Mobile to existing Windows Phone users in December. It would be quite sad if the new Outlook wasn’t ready by the end of this year.
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