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Server-side search and more: Updates to Outlook.com Android app

I’m excited to share that we have made a significant update to the Android app for Outlook.com, which is available today. Our goal is to provide our customers with the best possible email experience, delivering the features that you’ve been requesting. We’ve listened hard to the feedback from you and made several improvements that you asked for.

We’re committed to delivering a great experience to our customers no matter where they check their email. Outlook.com mobile usage has tripled from what it was a year ago, and with 68% of our customers now accessing Outlook.com on mobile devices, we’re working to have the best support for every device. This includes EAS for smartphones, IMAP for devices without EAS, and a new Windows 8 Mail app with unique Outlook.com features for the best email experience on any tablet. With today’s update, Outlook.com is even better on Android.

What’s new?

We’ve been collecting feedback and requests for this app since we released it in April. Since then, we’ve been working hard to address as many of your asks as we could.  This update includes over 150 improvements, along with some new features including:

Server-side search: You can now search through all of your email, even if the messages aren’t on your phone.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for on your phone, you have a new option to search Outlook.com to find your messages.

Android app server-side search

Download all mail: Another popular request was to allow more choices for syncing your mail. We’ve added an option to let you download all your messages, regardless of how old they are (though keep in mind you can now search for messages even if they aren’t on your phone).

 Android app download options 

Support for Aliases: People love using aliases, but they want to be able to use them everywhere they use Outlook.com.  Now you can send email from all your aliases in our Android app, just like you would in the Windows 8 mail app or on the web.

Android app alias list

New colors: Adding colors was one of our most requested additions.   We know people like to change things up and with this update you can pick from 11 colors to personalize your mail app the way you like it.

  Android app theme color option

Android app green inbox color

Vacation replies: Forget to set your vacation reply before you headed out?  Now you can manage your vacation reply directly in the Android app.  Just like on the web, you can choose to send the reply to everyone, or limit it to the people in your contact list.

Android app vacation reply setting

We hope you appreciate these new features and improvements.  Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or using the hashtag #outlookappdate. We’re always listening for feedback.

–Steve Kafka, Principal Program Manager Lead, Outlook.com Protocols

 

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19 comments
  1. Great improvements. Nice decent interface. One feature which I really miss – photo preview. Option to upload and attach reduced size pictures would also be welcome addition.
    Also in outlook.com Web app, active view of photos work only if photos are up to 2MB size. No slide show option is available is photos exceed this size limit. I have already confirm the same with customer care. In today’s world of 13 mega pixel camera this size limit is real bottleneck. Thanks.

  2. When will we receive notifications for new emails that arrive in folders other than the Inbox?

  3. Last time I looked Outlook includes "Tasks". Where is tasks on the android app????

  4. Any thoughts of an Outlook.com app for IOS? ;-)

  5. Make it possible to edit (and enter new) contacts on phone

  6. Hey guys, maybe you should start using Jelly Bean in testing? Gingerbread screenshots are not hot.

  7. Thanks everyone for the great suggestions for future improvements! For the folks asking about contact sync – we do sync your contacts down to the device, but are unable to let you create new ones or edit them due to some limitations in the Android APIs. We understand this is frustrating and we’ll add support for it as soon as we are able.

  8. "Support for Aliases: People love using aliases, but they want to be able to use them everywhere they use Outlook.com. Now you can send email from all your aliases in our Android app, just like you would in the Windows 8 mail app or on the web."

    As far as I know, support for Outlook.com email is now better on Android then on Windows Phone. Please correct me if I’m wrong but right now it’s not possible to select which alias to use when sending an email from a Windows Phone.

    "… but they want to be able to use them everywhere they use Outlook.com" and that includes Windows Phone, which is also made by Microsoft.

  9. Certainly an improvement in performance and speed, but I’m still baffled by the way threading (does not) display the names of people in the thread. e.g. if I’ve replied to a thread, the "From" area only says "Me." Huh? Why doesn’t it display the other person(s) on the thread like the web or on any other client?

    This makes it very hard to scan your email list and find what you want because I and most people, I think, scan a list by the people in a thread. This strange design choice puts threads out of context and makes it hard to find mail.

  10. I really would like to have the option to select a smaller text size.
    And when I open an email with a lot of receivers I see all the names and emailadresses of the receivers. Way to much text, and I would like to have the option to unfold the receivers.

  11. Would like to have the notification for emails filtered to other folders, this is greatly needed. I mostly filter my important emails, and only the rest is coming to my inbox, and not receiving alert/notification for these is really painful to manually check every time to see if there is any new email.

  12. Reply/Forward State Sync both ways – with iOS Mail app would be great! miss thtat feature, badly. :-(

  13. Still no sync of contacts, that means still no possibility, to edit or enter new outlook contacts at the smartphone?

  14. Thanks for the many improvements. There is still room for improvements:
    1 – Option to switch to a black background (instead of a white one) which is easier to read in the dark and more energy efficient on AMOLED screens
    2 – In the inbox (or any other folder), make the sender’s name bold and blue (the theme color) next to the already bold and blue subject line to mark unread/read emails.
    3 – Make it an option to instead of automatically showing the next email after you delete an email, show the inbox
    4 – Add a new widget (1*1 icon only) that shows number of new messages on top of outlook icon
    5- Option to receive notifications for new emails that arrive in folders other than the Inbox
    6 – Custom notifications for new mail from specific contacts / folders (especially useful when using Rules / Sweep) and option to notify only for specific contacts / folders
    7- Regarding notifications: make use of Jelly Bean’s Extended notifications (display the full text of new mail) and Actionable Notifications (Reply or delete from notifications – without the need to open the app)
    8 – Add Tasks sync
    9 – Add a Flag toggle next to the message in the inbox and in the message view

    • 2-9 are not an issue on Samsung Devices with JB update. They do all that over EAS. Really not sure why people with updated Android devices would even bother using this app. It’s redundant, a waste of space, and a waste of battery, and a usability downgrade compared to most device’s stock Email applications.

      Also allows all that stuff others are asking about, like creating contacts on the device.

  15. Finally! Many thanks team.

  16. I just replaced my Verizon Note 2 and I can not edit my phone contact info addresses in Outlook nor was I able to transfer my existing phone contacts via my Verizon account. Verizon claims that Outlook has turned off certain functions due to wanting me to only use your app. I would like to know how to better intergrate the 2 systems HELP.

  17. Some responsible person at Outlook.com and Microsoft should read this and do something:

    (replace xx by tt to open the below link)
    hxxp://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windowslive/forum/mail-sync/some-emails-from-gmail-are-not-getting-auto/58f8dfc4-7924-40b9-9f40-d631ad40f3d6

    many millions of people are missing their emails.

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