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Outlook for iOS and Android turns 1!

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It has been an exciting journey for all of us on the Microsoft Outlook team since launching Outlook apps for iOS and Android exactly one year ago today. We’ve been humbled by the response from the more than 30 million people actively using our app and thrilled that Outlook remains one of the Top 10 Best Productivity Apps in the App Store with a 4+ star rating.

However, we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. This past year laid the foundation for great new features and partnerships coming in 2016 to help you get more done on the go—even on the smallest screen.

As we celebrate our app’s first birthday, we want to take a look back at our favorite moments and feature releases from the past year.

Outlook for iOS and Android is born!

On January 29, 2015, Outlook for iOS and a preview of Outlook for Android are released to the App Store and Google Play. The Android app would leave preview soon thereafter. Since then, we’ve been busy shipping updates almost every week to meet our promise of helping you accomplish more in 24 seconds.

Outlook gets rich support for Office attachments

One of our first goals was to build top-notch support for Office attachments in Outlook. Previously, editing attachments was almost exclusively done at a computer. We wanted to make this as quick and easy as possible while on the go.

In Outlook, simply tap on an attachment to open it directly in Word, Excel or PowerPoint and start editing. Once you finish making your changes, a single tap on the Back button closes the document and returns you to Outlook, automatically adding the now-updated file as an attachment in your reply.

Read more about this feature in our original announcement on the Outlook blog.

Outlook is fortified for business

One thing that sets Outlook apart is how it well it supports work email accounts, providing professional-grade email capabilities alongside great everyday features. In June, we updated Outlook to take advantage of Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL)-based authentication for Office 365 mailboxes. In simple terms, this provides Outlook with a secure mechanism to access Office 365 email without requiring access to the user’s credentials. It also enables additional security features like multi-factor authentication. Further, we delivered support for built-in mobile device management (MDM) for Office 365 and Microsoft Intune, giving IT admins better controls and abilities to manage Outlook on mobile devices in their organization.

With these updates, Outlook now offers the leading set of controls for protecting corporate email and calendaring data on mobile devices while preserving a rich and empowering experience for users.

Outlook turns one 2

Read more about our support for ADAL and Intune in our original announcements on the Outlook blog.

The Sunrise team joins the Outlook team

More than three months ago, the Sunrise team joined the broader Outlook team, with the goal of delivering a single, powerful app for managing both your personal and professional life. The first fruits of this partnership arrived soon thereafter—with the release of the iOS calendar widget, two-week mini-calendar and three-day view. Soon, you’ll see richer calendar experiences come to Outlook from Sunrise—including Interesting Calendars, connections to your favorite apps and services and better management of meetings across time zones.

Outlook turns one 3

Read more about Sunrise joining the Outlook team on their blog.

Outlook gets a makeover

We also put Sunrise’s design expertise to work to give our apps a clean, refined new look. Throughout both apps, we focused on improving the small but important details that add up to making Outlook the best designed, most powerful mobile email app available. We subtly improved UI elements by adding visual cues to help you see and process information at a glance. We also improved navigation around the app and made key features more prominent—so you can do more with fewer taps. When getting work done on the go, it’s these little time savers that count.

On Android, we took this a step further. By deeply leveraging Material design and its common interface elements, we worked to make Outlook feel like a natural part of Android. We also added a new navigation bar that brings the Mail, Calendar, Files and People sections to the bottom of the app, within easy thumb-reach, decreasing the time it takes to check your calendar or find that important file.

We were flattered to be chosen as one of VentureBeat’s 15 most beautifully designed apps of 2015.

Outlook turns one 5

Read more about our new and improved look in our original announcement on the Outlook blog.

Skype and Outlook—the best way to schedule and join a call

Our busy lives make keeping up with friends and family sometimes difficult. And then occasionally technology can get in the way to make it even harder. In January, Outlook and Skype solved this problem. When creating a new event on your calendar, Outlook includes the ability to add a Skype Call. When you tap the Skype Call button, Outlook includes a Skype link in the description of the event. When your scheduled event time arrives, recipients simply click the link in their calendar to launch Skype and join the conversation.

Outlook turns one 6

Read more about this feature in our original announcement on the Outlook blog.

But this is all just the beginning. We’re delivering new features and improvements each week. Let us know what you want to see and vote on future feature ideas right within Outlook by going to Settings > Suggest a Feature.

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14 comments
  1. STILL waiting for web UI update…almost, what, 8 months?

  2. What about Skype for Business/Lync support? It seams it’s only compatible with the consumer version of Skype which is an odd choice for Outlook / Office365 product.

  3. Thanks for the update! Is there an eta on when the infrastructure will no longer be dependent on AWS? Thanks!

  4. Does it still route all data through Microsoft servers and stores account information ononline
    Or is this now direct connection to exchange and IMAP servers?
    Thank you

  5. Still cannot switch between my Outlook and Hotmail account when sending emails. It only takes my Hotmail account. I could select from which email I wanted to send an email with the previous app.

    • Hi Wilfredo – you should be able to move between then when sending emails. Have you added your Alias in settings? If you have and this still isn’t working, contact support in the app by going to Settings > Help & Feedback.

      • Thanks Allen,

        I have tried to add my hotmail and outlook accounts or alias separately. Still can only see my hotmail account. The outlook account never shows up. I sent an email to app support as advised.

  6. Will the Sunrise Meet keyboard find its way over to Outlook on iOS? Or maybe integrate a similar functionality from the calendar itself? It is easily my favorite feature and the best way I’ve found to schedule one-on-one or family-to-family get-togethers. I love that it doesn’t require any info from the invitee other than texting or emailing a link and them selecting what time works, which is perfect for mobile devices. Microsoft Invite has a similar feature, but isn’t as nicely integrated with a calendar and requires the invitee’s email address.

    • Hi Rod – we are planning to integrate similar functionality into Outlook. We are currently evaluating Meet, Invite and other similar technologies and learning from users what they like best and need most. Stay tuned!

      • Awesome! Thanks, Allen. Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with.

  7. What are the plans for S/MIME support for mobile? I currently have to use the Android built-in email app because it supports S/MIME and the Outlook app doesn’t.

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