Today, email powers our communication with customers, coworkers, business partners as well as friends and family. Many of these emails drive action, such as adding a customer contact or updating a to-do list. To accomplish these tasks, we often need to move back and forth between email and another service, such as a customer relationship management, task management or a note-taking app.
There’s a better way to work! Over the last year, we’ve introduced add-ins for Outlook on the web and desktop, which help you accomplish tasks quickly right from email, saving you the time spent switching between apps or signing in to separate services. Today, we are excited to announce that we’re bringing these add-ins to Outlook 2016 for Mac users. Additionally, we are launching new Outlook integrations—Connectors for the inbox and Actionable Messages—that enable you to take quick actions right from email.
Let’s get into the details of what’s new.
Get more done with add-ins in Outlook 2016 for Mac
Whether it’s scheduling a meeting at your favorite coffee shop, updating a CRM entry or paying your friends, you will soon be able to accomplish all this and more right from your inbox through add-ins in Outlook 2016 for Mac. In the coming weeks, add-ins in Outlook 2016 for Mac will begin to roll out—starting with Office Insider Fast. All existing add-ins for Outlook on the web and desktop—including Boomerang, Dynamics 365, Evernote, Giphy, Nimble, PayPal, Starbucks, Yelp, Uber, Wunderlist and Zomato—will be available as part of Office Insider Fast access.
If you are interested in getting early access to add-ins in Outlook for Mac, join the Office Insider Fast program for Mac. You will need a valid Office 365 subscription to join this program. When add-ins are made available to Office Insider Fast users, you will see the Office Store icon in Outlook. Just click the Store icon in the Outlook command bar to open the Office Store. Next, search for the add-in you are looking for and turn its toggle to On. You will then see the add-in command appear in your inbox you can start using it.
You will soon be able to use add-ins from popular apps and services in Outlook 2016 for Mac.
Get updates from your favorite apps with Connectors for the inbox
Earlier this year, we introduced Office 365 Connectors, which let you deliver relevant interactive content and updates from popular apps and services—such as Trello, Twitter and more—to Office 365 Groups. We are now bringing Connectors to your inbox (in preview), starting with a rollout to Outlook on the web users with Office 365 mailboxes. With Connectors for the inbox, you will be able to track updates from your project boards, social media accounts and more, right from your email.
Starting today, the preview will roll out for the following connectors: Asana, Bing News, Bitbucket, GitHub, Twitter, Trello, Wunderlist and Yammer. More services will be added soon.
To access Connectors for the inbox in Outlook on the web, click the Settings gear icon (top right) and select Manage Integrations. Click Connectors and then add the connector you wish to install. The connector will allow you to subscribe to a rich set of notifications and you may configure additional settings based on your preference. Once configured, you will start receiving notifications from the connector.
Click the Settings icon > Manage Integrations > Connectors and then add the connector you wish to install.
Configure the settings for the selected connector.
You should start receiving updates from the connector directly in your inbox.
Take quick actions in your email with Actionable Messages Preview
All of us have received emails reminding us to pay our bills or approve expense reports. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pay your bills and approve expense reports right from email—without having to sign in to another app? Actionable Messages have the power to do just that, transforming your inbox into a “do” box. As the name suggests, Actionable Messages enable users to take quick actions—such as updating a task or liking a social media post right from an email—with no need to visit another app or service.
Actionable Messages enable you to take quick actions such as “Like” or “Retweet” right from an email.
Starting today, Actionable Messages will start rolling out in Outlook on the web for Office 365 users and will initially be available for Connectors from Asana, Bitbucket, GitHub, Trello, Twitter and Wunderlist.
For example, when you enable the Trello connector in Outlook on the web, you will be able to receive a notification when someone creates, moves or comments on a card on your Trello board. The notification will now also include quick actions, such as adding a due date, adding a comment or moving a card, which you can take right from your email.
The Trello connector now allows you to add a due date, add a comment and more!
In addition to Actionable Messages delivered by Connectors, any app or service can turn any email they send into an Actionable Message and surface contextual actions directly in Outlook. Services such as SAP Fieldglass, Microsoft Flow and TINYpulse will soon start sending out Actionable Messages that will allow users take action from within the email. This capability will initially be available in preview in Outlook on the web for Office 365 users.
As an example, if your organization is using SAP Fieldglass to manage your vendor employee expenses, you may be receiving notifications when someone submits an expense report. These notifications will now contain quick actions such as “Approve” and “Reject” that will enable you to approve or reject those expenses right from Outlook on the web.
A new expense notification from SAP Fieldglass with built-in “Approve” or “Reject” actions.
Join the conversation—we’re listening
We’re excited for you to give these new Outlook integrations a try! We’re eager to hear your feedback and any suggestions on new partner solutions that you’d like to see in Outlook. Joining the conversation is easy—visit the add-ins section of Outlook.UserVoice.com and sign in with your Microsoft account to leave your feedback.
Frequently asked questions
Q. When will Outlook 2016 for Mac users who are not in the Insider program get add-ins?
A. Add-ins for Outlook 2016 for Mac will initially be available to Office Insiders in the coming weeks—starting with a rollout to Office Insiders Fast followed by Office Insiders Slow and will then be broadly rolled out to all Office for Mac 2016 users. Note that you will need your Outlook 2016 for Mac to be connected to a migrated Outlook.com or an Office 365, Exchange 2016 or Exchange 2013 SP1 account to use the add-ins.
Q. Will Connectors for the inbox and Actionable Messages come to Outlook on the desktop and Outlook.com?
A. Yes, we’re working to bring Actionable Messages and Connectors to Outlook.com and Desktop Outlook users soon.
Q. I am a developer interested in integrating my app with Outlook. Where should I start?
A. To learn more about building apps for Outlook, visit dev.outlook.com. You can find code samples, videos and learning resources for building add-ins, Connectors and Actionable Messages and leveraging Outlook REST APIs.