The future of mobile email—how much can you accomplish in 24 seconds?

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Today Microsoft released new Outlook apps for iOS and Android, which is both the culmination of several years’ of work and the first step in a greater journey to bring a true Outlook email experience to every mobile platform.

With roots back to the mid-1960s, email has been part of the fabric of the Internet since the beginning. Its foundation of open standards means that a message sent from an iPhone today can still be theoretically read on a Commodore 64. It is one of the most open, available communications technologies on Earth.

That fact goes a long way toward explaining why, even with such a long history, email has never lost relevance. Despite claims in the industry about its imminent demise—email usage is going up, not down. Last year there were 1.1 billion email subscribers and according to the analyst firm Radicati that number should double by 2018. In the business world, email will always have a critical role in facilitating productivity—as an asynchronous communication queue—and a repository of knowledge and information.

That doesn’t mean email is perfect. Today the average business user sends and receives 121 emails per day, but more email doesn’t mean more productivity. We need to be able to send better, more useful email, more easily. In a mobile world, email on your phone needs to be more than just for reading messages while standing in line for coffee.

We founded Acompli with this mission in mind—building the future of mobile email. We’ve learned that users spend an average of 24 seconds inside our app every time they open it—and that happens dozens of times per day. Our goal has been to make those 24 seconds as productive as they can be.

Today that mission continues with the launch of Outlook for iOS and Android. We’ve developed apps that put your mobile email in focus, integrate with your calendar and make attachments much easier to use on the go. Joining forces with Microsoft also gives us the ability to reach over a billion Office users and do much more with the technology, with tighter integration with Office and Outlook, the most popular desktop email app on the planet.

In our early discussions with Microsoft, we realized that the closer we could work together, the more value we can deliver over the course of those 24 seconds. There is extraordinary power and untapped potential across all of the Office 365 technologies—and we think an extremely compelling and beautiful email app will provide one effective portal to tap into it.

Since the acquisition, we’ve been working hard on integrating our teams and development processes to ensure we’re able to continue rapidly delivering new features and functionality to our customers.

There’s an amazing transformation going on at Microsoft, where energy and optimism and drive for change permeate the company. Our mission is to bring the best mobile email experience across platforms, in a way that is as familiar and functional as Outlook itself. It’s an exciting time for us—and hopefully you think so too.

To learn about the apps, check out this post, and if you want to help us build the best mobile solution for email, go download the Outlook apps in the iOS App Store and Google Play today and let us know what you think.

—Javier Soltero, GM, Outlook

  1. Great work guys! Its what outlook should have been on the mobile device!

  2. Wow! Both the IOS and Android versions of Outlook are sick! When will you update the OS X version? Really looking forward to Gmail and Google calendar compatibility in the OS X version. Would allow me to stop using Apple’s terrible Mail and Calendar.

    Keep up the great work!

    • @skramer49 – glad you like them! If you want to stay tuned to future updates to any Outlook product, check out

  3. Downloaded outlook to two iOS Devices with latest OS…both failed to set up iCloud accounts. Both worked for account.

  4. Would be nice if there was a quick way to send emails, etc. directly to OneNote, other than forwarding.

    • @Skramer49 – thanks for the additional feedback. I’ll pass this along. For future feedback requests, you can submit them in-app at Settings > Help > Contacts Support. This will allows us to better capture, categorize and prioritize future updates. Keep them coming!

  5. Pain for Exchange Admins, we don’t even know if remote wipes were successful.. and security team wants an Yes or No. Username/Password stored on server side a big NO from Corporate users.. Why wasn’t the App polished to ensure it meets basic enterprise/activesync needs, before it was released, you can’t even set an OoO message.. first get the basics right before you give it another name and increase headaches to IT just because it is now called Outlook…

    • @ragrampi – We’ll be iterating quickly and shipping updates to the app every few weeks. Look for Exchange-focused features like ActiveSync policies and ability to set Out of Office messages to arrive soon.

  6. No ability to utilize aliases within Microsoft’s own app??? Come on man

    • @reese2147 – Thanks for the feature request. Can you submit it in-app for us, at Settings > Help > Contact Support? It helps us collect and categorize for prioritization purposes.

  7. My mom has been having issues. She has an her hotmail account with groups set up on it but has been unable to use the Apple Mail app to send to groups. I’ve researched everywhere with no luck other than a 3rd party app. I just downloaded the new iOS version and tried it with my Outlook account and I still can’t seem to get groups to pop up so I can send to a group at one time. Am I missing something?

    • @christopherkbowman – The best way to get to the bottom of this is to chat with our support team. Just go into the app and click Settings > Help > Contact Support.

  8. Jan Stegeman

  9. Jan Stegeman

    Thank you for the great app. (Using it on Android now)
    Question, will there be a possibility to add shared folders like we can do in O365 Outlook?

    • @Jan: Great suggestion! We will be updating the Outlook app every few weeks with new features. Please let us know about any additional feature requests you have by going to Settings > Help > Contact Support within the app, as this will help us triage and prioritize. Thanks!

  10. elsanders

    What about the to-do list?

    • @elsanders: thanks for the feedback request, we do not support to-do or tasks at this time. We will be updating the Outlook app every few weeks with new features. Please let us know about any additional feature requests you have by going to Settings > Help > Contact Support within the app, as this will help us triage and prioritize. Thanks!

  11. Mobile OWA users can search “People” beyond their own contacts in the Office 365 “Global Access List”. This feature does not seem to be available in Outlook Preview for Android or Outlook for iOS. Is this capability planned or are we missing something? Thanks.

    • @mledwin: it is in the short term roadmap. We will be updating the Outlook app every few weeks with new features. Please let us know about any additional feature requests you have by going to Settings > Help > Contact Support within the app, as this will help us triage and prioritize. Thanks!

  12. Does the new Outlook app for iOS support Synchronization of Reply/Forward State for E-Mails with

    • @David423: I saw you asked this on the other blog as well. I am not sure your exact question, please reach out to support by going to Settings > Help > Contact Support within the app. Thanks!

  13. How can users attach documents from SharePoint? This has always been a major pain point.

  14. Just tested this.
    Two major issues that need to be addressed.
    1, Compared to OWA, the search functionality is limited. With OWA, search extends to items in Exchange/Office365 server mailbox. Currently, search only works on items in the device local cache. Gmail/Inbox app for Gmail service – i.e. not using EAS is able to search server mailbox.

    2, Lack of support for shared calendars in Exchange/Office365. OWA kind of supports this functionality. Outlook desktop supports it. If Outlook/Acompli can add this support, it will be complete.

    • @ao. Server side search is available for mail in Outlook with Office 365. So maybe try again? We do not yet have server addressing from Global Address List. Thanks for the great features suggestions! We will be updating the Outlook app every few weeks with new features. Please let us know about any additional feature requests you have by going to Settings > Help > Contact Support within the app, as this will help us triage and prioritize. Thanks!

  15. New outlook app is not as good as old app or acompli app.

    In Acompli app, we can’t use it for two email accounts. Because , it always send email from 1st account , regardless which is selected .

    In this app, that bug is still there, also when opening support option, it always crashes . 🙁
    (Tried to open support page 15+ times, also tried with clearing data & reinstall, but nothing works.)

  16. I truly enjoy the new Outlook app, but with respect – that’s because I’ve been using Acompli before it was acquired. There’s no shame in saying so, is there? Tech. companies do it all the time. Great example, Apple’s Siri – they even kept the name of the previous company for good measure! So, what do you mean a ‘culmination of years of work…’? Apart from the slightly refreshed Calendar view, it’s identical – feature for feature. Don’t get me wrong, I truly do love the app, but many of us who follow Tech. news don’t like misleading statements to unsuspecting users. Hurts the reputation a little…

    With that said, very well done for identifying awesome tech and incorporating it into your portfolio. What I’d like to see is a better polished interface to look more uniform with the other mobile office apps, including refreshed set of icons that I’ve become accustomed to in other Microsoft Office Apps. One needs only look at any other app in the suite to notice that zero work was done in the area. The other office apps are major step up in aesthetics – keep that standard up, we do notice… Just saying.

  17. One quick question, now that Outlook is available, are there intentions to merge Outlook with the existing OWA for iOS? I find it rather silly to have both existing at the same time, while requiring certain minimum requirements for OWA. There’s room to improve here.

  18. aggietech

    Any plans to release this app on WP 8.1 too?

    • From the Windows 10 presentation, it’ll be baked into Windows 10.

  19. Great job with Outlook for iOS and Windows, but I can’t use Outlook for OS X because it doesn’t fully support email the same way that the Windows (and now iOS) versions do. I can only see my email over IMAP; there’s no ActiveSync or other support to view my calendars and contacts.

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