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Microsoft Releases Outlook for iOS and Android

Microsoft today released versions of its widely used Outlook mail, calendaring and contacts app for users of iPhones, iPads and a preview version Android devices. More than 80 million iPad and iPhone users have downloaded Office, according to Microsoft.

 "We have received tremendous customer request for Outlook across all devices, so we are thrilled to fulfill this for our customers," said Julie White, general manager for the Office product management team. Microsoft was able to develop the new Outlook apps thanks to code developed by Acompli, which Microsoft acquired last month , she noted. 

I didn't see it in the Apple Store earlier today but a link Microsoft provided enabled an easy download of the Outlook app for the iPad. It looks a lot like the traditional Outlook client, though it clearly is stripped down. In the Settings folder (Figure 1) you can choose swipe options, browsers and create a signature for each or all accounts. However, unlike the Windows Outlook client, you can only create generic signatures.

[Click on image for larger view.]  Figure 1. Settings folder on the new Outlook app for the iPad.

The mail client has a search button and allows you to see your folders (Figure 2). It also provides access to OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive storage accounts (Figure 3). In the configuration setting, it provides access to your Exchange account, Outlook.com, OneDrive, iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Dropbox and Box (Figure 4).

[Click on image for larger view.]  Figure 2. Search feature for the iOS version of Outlook.

 

[Click on image for larger view.]  Figure 3.Available storage accounts.
[Click on image for larger view.]  Figure 4. Available e-mail accounts.

Unfortunately if you connect to any other POP- or IMAP-based service you're out of luck. Microsoft didn't indicate whether that will change, though White noted that "you will see us continue to rapidly update the Outlook app, delivering on the familiar Outlook experience our customers know and love." For my testing purposes, I have a Yahoo mail account that I use for less-critical purposes, which enabled me to test the new Outlook client.

Microsoft said the new Outlook app replaces Outlook Web Access for iOS and Android, though Microsoft said it will keep them around for now because some advanced Exchange and Office 365 features still aren't available with the new Outlook app.

Microsoft also announced that its Office for Android tablets is now generally available in the Google Play store. This replaces the preview versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It joins the already available version of OneNote for Android. The company said it will also support native implementation running on Intel chipsets within the quarter.

 

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 01/29/2015 at 11:26 AM


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