Outlook 2016 for Mac adds Touch Bar support and now comes with your favorite apps

Last week, Outlook for Mac released two highly requested features designed to help you get more done, quickly. First, we added support for the Touch Bar for MacBook Pro users. Through the Touch Bar, we intelligently put the most common inbox, formatting and view commands at your fingertips—all based on what you’re doing in Outlook.

Additionally, we’re bringing your favorite apps to your inbox with add-ins for Outlook for Mac. Whether it’s translating emails on the fly or updating your notes or project board, you will now be able to accomplish all this and more right from your inbox. These add-ins are also available across Outlook for Windows, iOS and the web, so your favorite apps are always there to help you accomplish tasks quickly.

Here’s a look at what’s new!

Intuitive commands at your fingertips with Touch Bar support in Outlook for Mac

The Touch Bar in Outlook intelligently provides quick access to the most commonly used commands as you work on email and manage your calendar. When composing a new mail or meeting request, the Touch Bar displays the common formatting options. When viewing your calendar, you can switch between different views. And when viewing the reminders window, you can join an online meeting with one tap on the Touch Bar.

Support for Touch Bar in Outlook for Mac is available to all Office 365 subscribers, as well as all Office 2016 for Mac customers.

Accomplish tasks quickly with new add-ins

Add-ins bring your favorite apps right inside Outlook, so you can accomplish tasks quickly without needing to switch back and forth between email and other apps. Last year, we announced the rollout of add-ins to Outlook 2016 for Mac in Office Insider. We are now making add-ins available to all Outlook 2016 for Mac customers who have Exchange 2013 Service Pack 1 or higher, or Office 365 or Outlook.com mailboxes. Use these add-ins to translate emails on the fly, edit a record in your CRM system, update your notes or project board, or set up a meeting over coffee and more—all without leaving Outlook. Outlook for Mac customers can take advantage of all Outlook add-ins available in the Office store, including:

  • Get business intelligence and track emails quickly with the Dynamics 365 add-in. Use the Nimble add-in to get real-time insights about your Outlook contacts.
  • Collaborate effortlessly with your coworkers using add-ins from Evernote, Trello, Microsoft Translator, Smartsheet and Citrix ShareFile (coming soon).
  • Add email reminders and schedule emails with the Boomerang add-in for Outlook.
  • Say thanks to your friends and co-workers by giving them the gift of Starbucks through the Starbucks for Outlook add-in.
  • Make emails more fun and visually expressive with GIPHY, when words aren’t enough.

To start using add-ins, just click the Store icon on the Outlook ribbon 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 and can start using it. You just need to install add-ins once and they will be available for use across Outlook on the web, Windows, Mac and iOS.

 

Want to bring your apps to Outlook? If you are a developer looking to build add-ins for Outlook, check out dev.outlook.com for more resources.

Got a suggestion for how to improve Outlook for Mac? Please suggest and vote on future feature ideas on our Outlook for Mac UserVoice page.

—The Outlook team

Outlook 2016 for Mac adds support for Google Calendar and Contacts

Today, Outlook 2016 for Mac is adding support for Google Calendar and Contacts—available first to our Office Insider Fast community. We’re excited to be delivering on these highly-requested features for Mac users and matching our Outlook apps for iOS and Android, providing Google Accounts with a more powerful way to stay in control of the day ahead.

While today marks the beginning of this rollout, we need your help to test drive and provide feedback on the experience. We will be closely managing the rollout to Insiders, expanding availability over the next several weeks, before becoming broadly available to Office 365 customers later this year.

Note: These improvements will become available to those who have Office 365 plans that include Office applications.

More than just email

Outlook for Mac has long supported connecting to and managing your Gmail. With these updates, Outlook will now also sync your Google Calendars and Contacts. The experience will be very similar to what you are familiar with in Outlook today, with support for all the core actions—such as add, delete, edit time and location. All changes will update back and forth with Gmail or Outlook for iOS and Android, so everything is in sync across all your devices.

Bringing the best features of Outlook to your Gmail account

Up to now, many of Outlook’s best and most advanced email features have only been available to those with an Outlook.com, Office 365 or Exchange email address. With these updates, you will also be able to take advantage of several of Outlook’s advanced features with your Gmail account, including Focused Inbox and richer experiences for travel reservations and package deliveries. Additional advanced features will become available as we roll these updates out more broadly.

How to get started

Outlook 2016 for Mac users who are part of the Office Insider Fast program will be the first to try this new feature. To become an Insider, simply open up Outlook, click Help > Check for Updates and then follow the directions found here.

Not all Insiders will see the new Google Account experience right away. We will closely monitor feedback and expand the rollout over the next few weeks. Outlook will notify you when this feature becomes available, with a prompt asking you to add your Google Account. If you have an existing Google Account connected to Outlook, you can remove it after setting up the new experience.

If you ignore the initial prompt, you can add a Google Account at a later time by going to Tools > Accounts.

We are still fine-tuning the Google Account experience in Outlook for Mac and will provide regular updates to Insiders before releasing the features more broadly. You can help us improve the experience by providing feedback and identifying bugs by going to Help > Contact Support. See this list of known issues.

Got a suggestion for how to improve Outlook for Mac? Please suggest and vote on future feature ideas on our Outlook for Mac UserVoice page.

—The Outlook team

Introducing Outlook Customer Manager—relationships made easy for small businesses

With Office 365, we’re eager to help your small business achieve more. That’s why we are expanding the value of Office 365 to include not only essential productivity and collaboration tools, but also new services to help you run your business. The launch of Bookings earlier this year introduced a new way to schedule appointments with your customers. Today, we are adding a new tool to help you manage your customer relationships more effectively.

As a business owner, you know that getting repeat business starts with knowing your customers well, remembering the conversations you’ve had, and following through on their requests. That can be a challenge when you have many customers to keep track of and not enough time in the day. To make it easier for you to track and grow your customer relationships, we are introducing a new Office 365 service called Outlook Customer Manager.

Outlook Customer Manager gives you a complete view of your interactions with each customer, helps you track tasks and deals in progress, and surfaces timely reminders. You can stay on top of customer relationships right from Outlook, with no need to install or learn separate tools.

Now included at no extra cost in the Office 365 Business Premium plan, Outlook Customer Manager is a cloud-powered solution designed especially for small businesses. And as your business needs grow, you can move to Dynamics 365 to take advantage of enhanced customer information, process efficiency and consistency, and deeper financial and customer insights.

Customer information in one place—without busy work

Trying to keep up with all the information and tasks from emails, meeting invites, call logs, Excel sheets, handwritten notes and other team members can get in the way of more important work. That’s why Outlook Customer Manager automatically organizes customer information—such as emails, meetings, calls, notes, files, tasks, deals and deadlines—in a timeline next to your inbox.

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See customer information next to your inbox so you can act on it right away.

The information in the timeline is automatically gathered from the email, calendar and call log data from your Office 365 environment, minimizing the need to manually enter data about your customer interactions. With all your customer information gathered in one place, you can spend less time entering data, or searching for it in various places, and more time with customers.

Never miss what’s important

Within the busy day of a business owner, it’s easy to forget about items that need follow-up—or worse, fail to fulfill important commitments to a customer. Outlook Customer Manager helps you stay on top of opportunities and commitments by surfacing timely reminders, letting you associate tasks with a contact, company or deal, and listing deals by stage, close dates, priority and amount. To help you prioritize your time, the system automatically presents a Focused list of your most important customers and deals.

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Dive in for a detailed view of your customers and deals, and see timely reminders.

Get everyone on the same page

At a small business, everyone pitches in for customers. But when several team members talk to a customer, it can quickly get complicated to keep track of all the communication. With Outlook Customer Manager, you can choose to share customer information with your team so everyone is on the same page.

This means the next time an employee is out sick, other team members can answer a call from their customers with all the needed information at their fingertips—from notes from recent customer calls to upcoming meeting dates, and from deal stage information to the name of that customer’s dog.

Access it all on the go

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Get on-the-go access.

Work doesn’t always happen in front of a desk, which is why Outlook Customer Manager has a mobile app that gives you quick access to the same customer information you’ll see at your desktop. You can check recent communication right before meeting with a customer, jot down a quick note after a meeting or scan a business card to quickly create a new business contact—all in a few swipes on your phone.

The mobile app is initially available for iOS, and over time we will bring it to other mobile platforms.

Simple to use

Outlook Customer Manager is accessible in one click from the home tab in your Outlook inbox—so you don’t need to install any new software or spend days training your team to get them started. Because your data stays in Office 365, you don’t waste valuable time setting up connectors to other software or services, or managing separate products.

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Get started in one click.

Getting started with Outlook Customer Manager

Outlook Customer Manager is now rolling out to Office 365 Business Premium customers, starting with those opted into First Release and continuing worldwide in the coming months. Once it has rolled out to your Office 365 account, you will see an icon for it in the home tab in Outlook 2016 for Windows. Just click the icon to get started. If you want early access, please see this page for more information on how to join the First Release program for Office 365.

We are excited to see how Outlook Customer Manager helps you stay on top of customer relationships and grow your business. As you use Outlook Customer Manager, please tell us what you think by providing feedback in our feedback forum.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Which Office 365 subscriptions include Outlook Customer Manager?

A. Outlook Customer Manager is available with an Office 365 Business Premium subscription. We are working to also bring it to E3 and E5 subscriptions in the future.

Q. When will Outlook Customer Manager be available?

A. Outlook Customer Manager is rolling out to Office 365 Business Premium subscribers, starting with those in First Release and continuing worldwide in the coming months. If you want early access, please see support article for more information on how to join the First Release program for Office 365.

Q. How do I access Outlook Customer Manager?

A. An icon for Outlook Customer Manager will appear in the home tab in Outlook 2016 for Windows as soon as it is rolled out to your account. Click the icon to get started.

Q. Where can I get more information or give feedback?

A. Please see this support article for more information. You can share feedback with us in our feedback forum.

Introducing our new scheduling experience for Outlook for iOS

From the very beginning, our goal with Outlook has been to provide a mobile experience that’s good for more than reading messages while standing in line for coffee. As part of our mission, we released a new and improved calendar on iOS and Android in September that brought you things like Maps and Skype for Business integration.

Today, we are thrilled to announce another step in that journey with a powerful scheduling assistant on Outlook for iOS. Inspired by the well-loved scheduling assistant of Outlook on the desktop, you can now easily see your coworkers’ availability and find a time that works for everyone—all from the palm of your hand.

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Schedule meetings with just a few taps

You’ll just need to follow a few simple steps to see your coworkers’ availability and schedule a meeting right from your phone.

Once you’ve created an event from your calendar and added your coworkers to the People field, tap the date picker. If the selected time works for everyone, the day will be displayed in white. If the selected time doesn’t work but there other times that do, the day will appear in yellow. And if no time works, the day will show in red. Next, tap the time picker and just drag and drop until it turns green—indicating everyone is available at that time.

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Once you’ve found the date and time that are just right, fill in the other fields and tap the checkmark at the top to save and send your event. It’s as easy as it sounds.

The feature is currently available on Outlook for iOS when connected to Office 365 or the latest versions of Exchange. Check your phone today to see if it’s available for you. It will follow shortly on Android and Windows 10 mobile.

We’d love to know what you think! Let us know through our in-app support by going to Settings > Help & Feedback.

—The Outlook team

Guide to inbox management

With hundreds (or thousands) of messages coming and going from your inbox each month, it can quickly get unruly. Outlook helps you take control and stay on top of what’s important. Here are seven Outlook tips and tools to help you overcome business email overload.

Focused Inbox

Your inbox should be your command center—helping you plan your day by staying on top of what matters. That’s why our Outlook team spends so much of their time improving your email experience. One of Outlook’s newest features, Focused Inbox, helps you focus on the emails most important to you. This feature separates your email into two tabs: Focused and Other—determined by an email’s content and the contacts you communicate with most. That way, all your less important emails are saved but out of the way, enabling you to focus on what’s most important first. To fine-tune the sorting criteria, just use the “Move to Focused” or “Move to Other” options.

Available on Outlook.com and Outlook for iOS and Android. This feature will soon be rolling out to Office 365 customers and Outlook on other platforms.

@Mentions

There’s now a better way to quickly identify action items for team members through email. Simply type the @ symbol followed by individuals’ names in the body of your emails. The @Mention changes the text color and style to call an item to the recipient’s attention. This helps you detect what emails require your response, as the @ symbol will appear in your message list when you’ve been mentioned in an email.

The @Mentions feature is already available in Outlook on the web and is available for Office Insiders using Outlook 2016 for Windows and Mac. Look for @Mentions coming soon for Outlook for iOS, Android and Windows 10 Mobile.

Search

Outlook’s smart search has made it easier to find what you’re looking for—regardless of where the email is stored. This reduces the need to sort emails into folders, which can sometimes take more time than it saves. Outlook searches all email that is synced to your computer as well as stored on your email server, so you can find exactly what you need when you need it. Start typing a name or keyword into the search bar, and Outlook provides smart suggestions based on your previous searches and the content of your mailbox.

Tagging

Outlook provides many ways you can organize your inbox to match your individual work styles or preferences. Make your emails more easily discoverable by taking advantage of features like colored Categories, Flags and Quick Steps. Categories allow you to assign a color to your emails, to assign them to a project or work group. Flagging an email will remind you to revisit later, and it will appear in your To-Do bar, Daily Task List within the Calendar as well as the Tasks view. Or simply use the Read/Unread options to come back to important items at your convenience.

Unsubscribe

Individually removing your email from each list can be a drain on your time. Luckily, Outlook can take care of this problem for you. Easily unsubscribe with just one click, without leaving your inbox.

Currently this feature is only available for Outlook on the web.

Sweep

If too many emails are cluttering your inbox, the Sweep tool can help you quickly get rid of unwanted mail. Delete emails in bulk with the Sweep feature or create a rule for deleting certain emails so you don’t have to do it manually. Tired of receiving a store’s promotion? Sweep and block all future emails with just a few clicks.

Currently this feature is only available for Outlook on the web.

Mobile apps

Up your productivity by taking advantage of Outlook’s mobile applications, which provide access to the best Outlook features on your mobile device. The iOS and Android apps bring together the core tools you need to get things done—your email, calendar, contacts and files—helping you get more done even on the smallest screen. Easily send attachments, view and respond to calendar invites, and schedule emails all from within one unified app.

You can also triage action items right on your wrist with Outlook for Apple Watch and Android Wear, as well as interact with emails and calendar information.

Curious about how these features work? Sign up to use Outlook through Office 365 for a more powerful and productive inbox. Also, check out these resources:

New Outlook partner integrations help you extend your email capabilities

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 notetaking 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.

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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.

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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.

Outlook for iOS and Android is now fully powered by the Microsoft Cloud

We’re thrilled to announce that Outlook for iOS and Android is now powered by the Microsoft Cloud for Office 365 commercial users! This means that all your data is now fully delivered through Microsoft services that provide a strong commitment to security, privacy and compliance. There has never been a better time to make your move to Outlook and join the 42-million active users already enjoying the only mobile email and calendar app designed to work with the best features of Office 365.

No matter which industry you’re in—from banking to the public sector—we’re committed to help you address your legal, regulatory and compliance needs while still providing you with the best mobile experience.

Here’s a peek into our recent changes.

A look into Outlook’s new architecture

Outlook for iOS and Android now supports Exchange Online mailboxes natively, which means that none of the data of your mailboxes is cached outside of Office 365. Data simply stays in its current Exchange Online mailbox and is protected by TLS-secured connections end to end between Office 365 and the Outlook apps.

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To make this work, Outlook uses a stateless protocol translator component that is built and run in Azure. This component serves to route data and translate commands (Outlook Device API to REST and vice versa) between Outlook and Exchange Online, but it doesn’t cache any user data.

This new architecture also improves how Outlook reports Device IDs to Exchange Online, to help admins manage mobile email access through Outlook. Outlook now individually reports a unique Device ID for each device connecting to Exchange Online. Previously, Outlook connections from iOS or Android were reported at the user level. The mobile device details reported, along with the Device ID are also more robust, as Outlook now reports Device Name and Device OS back to Exchange. You can read more about these changes and how they impact Device Access rules on TechNet.

Why move your team to Outlook for iOS, Android and Windows 10 Mobile?

On top of the recent improvements to our architecture, we think there are lots of reasons why the Outlook apps for iOS, Android and Windows 10 Mobile are a great fit for our Office 365 customers.

The best of mobile and the best of Office 365, combined in one app—Called “the best mobile email app, no matter what phone you’re using” by Wired, Outlook is helping millions of users manage their inboxes and calendars on the go, with innovative, unique features like Focused Inbox, customizable swipe gestures and integrated calendar apps.

More importantly, Outlook is the only email app especially designed to support the full Office 365 experience, providing your teams with a coherent experience from desktop to mobile. Over the past year alone, we’ve provided rich integration with Office, OneDrive for Business and Skype for Business, support for IRM protected email, Automatic Replies settings and multi-factor authentication, to name just a few.

And we’re only getting started.

A reduced load for your IT Help Desk—Getting all your teams on Outlook means that your IT Help Desk only has to support and manage one mobile email solution moving forward. No more dealing with dozens of built-in email apps across a range of devices. You can start drafting your training and onboarding materials for Outlook on mobile—they’re the only ones you’ll ever need.

Also, Outlook provides end-user in-app support for basic tasks from Microsoft trained agents, so you don’t have to do it. Our persistent chat support means your Help Desk can offload the simpler how-to work (like signing in, adding accounts and general use of the app) and focus on more business-critical activities.

A range of options to protect your data—Outlook provides several options to secure and protect email on mobile devices. Office 365 and Outlook include built-in controls for core security needs—including enforcing PIN lock, multi-factor authentication and the ability to remotely wipe lost or stolen devices. Outlook also is tightly integrated with the advanced capabilities of Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) to make sure that your team’s data is safe.

A few capabilities of EMS include:

  • Selective wipe—Remove Office 365 email data when needed while leaving any personal data intact. This is an increasingly important requirement as more businesses adopt a “bring your own device” (BYOD) approach to phones and tablets.
  • App restriction policies—Restrict actions such as cut, copy, paste and “save as” between Intune-managed apps and personal apps on a device to reduce the risk of corporate data loss. App restriction policies are available for use on both mobile device management (MDM) enrolled devices and on unmanaged devices, through Intune’s MAM without enrollment capabilities.
  • Conditional access—Ensure that Office 365 email can only be accessed on phones and tablets that meet secure access policies set by IT. These can include the requirement for device or app management or Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) for certain user scenarios. And with the newly released Azure Identity Protection capabilities of EMS, you can ensure these conditional access policies grant or deny access based on risks associated with each unique identity.

We want to hear from you!

We’re not stopping here in our quest to provide you with the best email and calendar experience on a mobile device. If you have other ideas for what would make Outlook even better for you, let us know right from Outlook by going to Settings > Help & Feedback > Suggest a Feature. Thanks!

Frequently asked questions

Q. Which Office 365 plans does this announcement apply to?

A. This announcement applies to Office 365 Enterprise, Business and Education plans. Timelines are still being worked out for customers on U.S. Government, Germany and other Office 365 plans, due to their unique identity and authentication setup.

Q. Does this update apply to both Office 365 and on-premises customers?

A. This update applies to Office 365 commercial customers only. Supporting Outlook connections from Exchange Server on-premises customers in the Microsoft Cloud is our next priority.

Q. What happens to the current Outlook Web Access (OWA) app for iPhone, iPad and Android?

A. The new Outlook app has replaced the OWA apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Customers should move their users to the Outlook app as the OWA apps will be removed from the App Store and Google Play in the coming months. Additional details and timelines will be communicated through the Office 365 Message Center.

Q. Does this update apply to Outlook for Windows 10 Mobile?

A. No. Outlook for Windows 10 Mobile continues to use Exchange Active Sync to connect to Office 365 mailboxes.

Sharing made simple—Outlook.com adds support for Google Drive and Facebook photos

The essential role of email has always been the ability to easily share ideas and information with anyone in the world. Whether it’s working with your classmates, arranging a vacation or planning a global product launch—email is a staple of modern communication.

In recent years, one of the biggest advancements in Outlook has been the ability to share and edit files stored in the cloud right from your inbox. OneDrive has long been integrated across Outlook and comes preconfigured with every Outlook account. In addition, our Outlook mobile apps support Box, Dropbox and Google Drive. And early this year, we announced support for Box and Dropbox in Outlook.com as well.

Today, we added three enhancements to make sharing simple. First, we extended the cloud storage capabilities for Outlook.com by adding support for Google Drive. Second, we added the ability to share your Facebook photos from Outlook. And finally, we made it easier to find files and photos buried in long email conversations.

Outlook makes accessing your Google Drive easy

Outlook users on iOS and Android have had the ability to access their Google Drive files for some time. We are bringing the same capability to Outlook.com. Whether you are using Outlook on the web or our mobile apps, your Google Drive files are just a click away.

Adding your Google Drive is simple. First, begin a new message and then click or tap the attachment icon. Next, select Google Drive and enter your account credentials. Once added, your Google Drive appears as a source when attaching files. You can browse and select your files from either a list view or as thumbnails.

You could always edit Google file types with a shared link—but previously it would open the file in a new tab. Now, when you receive a Google Doc, Slide or Sheet, you can open the file within Outlook. Just like photos and Office file types, the Google files open in Outlook next to your message window so your work flow is not disrupted. And, as with Google Drive links, if you have edit permissions, you’ll be able to edit using the full functionality available on Google Drive—again, all without leaving Outlook.

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Editing Google files from within Outlook.

Have a lot of photos on Facebook? We have you covered

We want to make sharing your Facebook photos as easy as possible in Outlook. The steps for connecting a Facebook account are the same as with Google Drive—simply click or tap the attachment icon from within a new message and enter your credentials.

Once connected, you’ll be able to browse and attach your photos. Your photos will be organized just like they are in Facebook: “Photos of me” are the ones that you’ve been tagged in and “My photos” are the ones you’ve uploaded.

So, whether you want to share a photo with someone outside your circle of friends or are emailing someone not on Facebook, sharing is easy.

Easily add your Facebook photos in Outlook.

Finding attachments in long conversations is now a breeze

When you’re in a long email conversation, it can be hard to find which message has the attachment you want—especially when several attachments have been added along the way.

We want to make it as easy as possible to find a specific attachment in a conversation. At the top of every thread, you’ll now find an attachment icon. Click it to open a drop-down list of all the attachments in the conversation. Simply select the file you are looking for and open it—you don’t have to click though each reply or expand the thread.

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It is now easier to find attachments in long threads.

Share your feedback

At Outlook, we’re constantly making updates based on your feedback. So if you have feedback or ideas, we’d love to hear from you via UserVoice.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Which Outlook accounts can use these features?

A. These features are available to all consumers accessing migrated Outlook.com accounts via the web. In addition, the attachment feature will also be available to all Office 365 commercial subscriptions that include Outlook on the web.

Q. When will these features be available?

A. We will be rolling out these features over the next few weeks.

Football season is here! Outlook helps you track the games that matter

Football season has started, and that means warming up the grill, pulling out the jersey and having friends over for the big day. But keeping track of the games you care about can be challenging. With over 100 college teams, 32 pro teams and a host of bowls, playoffs and championships, staying on top of the season can be tough. Outlook and Bing make it easy.

In August, we announced Interesting calendars in Outlook on the web to help track a range of events, and we’ve got you covered for football. Whether it’s your college alma mater, the pro team you’ve followed since you were a kid or key games in your fantasy league, it’s easy to stay on top of the action simply by adding all the games for your favorite teams to your calendar.

To add your team’s schedule to your Outlook.com or Office 365 calendar simply:

  1. Log in to Outlook on the web.
  2. View your calendar and then click Add calendar.
  3. Select Interesting calendar.
  4. Select Sports, the sport category and then your favorite team.

Interesting calendars Football

From your inbox, display your calendar, select Interesting calendar and go from there.

Once added, your events are synced across all your devices and automatically updated if there is a change in the schedule. There’s a lot of football between now and January—we want you to know when your team is playing next.

Share your feedback

Outlook is a customer-obsessed team. If you have feedback or ideas you would like to share, please let us know via UserVoice.

Frequently asked questions

Q. When will this feature be available?

A. You can start adding your team’s games today.

Q. Which regions can access Interesting calendars?

A. Users in North America. We’ll be adding more regions over time.

Q. Which users have access to these features?

A. These experiences are available for users with Office 365 subscriptions that include Exchange Online and those users with new or upgraded Outlook.com accounts.

Q. Where will I see the events?

A. Once a team’s schedule has been added to your calendar, the games will sync across all your devices that use the same account.

Increase your productivity with an enhanced people experience in Outlook on the web

There are two components in any communication: the information shared and the people you are sharing with. Understanding your audience—the people you are sending to—is particularly important in business settings. Today, we are announcing several enhancements in Outlook on the web to help Office 365 customers better understand the people they are communicating with. In addition, we reduced the number of clicks to present the most relevant information at a glance. Powered by the Microsoft Graph, these changes allow you to quickly create more personalized and impactful communications.

A better understanding of people and how to reach them quickly

Many users associate people in Outlook with contact management—storing information such as a person’s phone number and email address. And while knowing how to contact someone is important, having a full understanding of who someone is—how you relate to them and how to quickly reach them—is critical.

With that in mind, we updated Contact Cards to provide a “no-click” way to access common communication actions, as well as provide the ability to see who someone is and how you know them. When in Mail or Calendar, simply hover your mouse over an individual’s name to bring up their Contact Card. The Contact Card allows you to quickly email, IM, call or create a calendar appointment. In addition, you will also see the person’s job title, who they report to, as well as a recent email. This makes it easy to quickly place the person in context—both within your organization as well as within your interactions.

Contact Cards provide actions and context at a glance.

While Contact Cards provide a snapshot of information, the new Contact pane offers a deeper view of someone. Click a name—be it in the Mail, Calendar or People view—and the Contact pane slides into view. The first section of the Contact pane has the same communication actions as the Contact Card, but also includes contact information related to those actions. In addition, you’ll see key information such as their team, title and office number.

Scrolling down, you’ll see their reporting structure—including the option to click through to their full organization chart. You’ll also be able to see who they commonly work with as well as the Office 365 Groups they belong to.

The final section of the Contact pane provides a rich collection of information previously shared between the two of you. So, when preparing for your next meeting or replying to an email, the Contact pane allows you to fully understand where a person is within your organization, the projects and people they work with, as well as the specific emails and files you have exchanged with one another. And because the Contact pane slides out in your existing Outlook window, you are able to maintain the flow of your work without managing pop-ups and tabs.

The Contact pane unlocks people intelligence through the Microsoft Graph

Improved search—finding the right person means finding the relevant person

In late 2015, we announced significant changes to Outlook on the web’s ability to understand the people most relevant to you when composing an email or calendar invites. We expanded this same intelligence to the search box in the Mail, Calendar and People modules. For example, if you frequently communicate with Sarah Davis, typing an “S” or “D” in the search box will bring up her name first—even if her name is not alphabetically first in your company’s directory. Outlook knows Sarah is likely the person you are searching for as she is the most relevant person to you based on your communications, collaborations and business relationship.

In addition, we extended “fuzzy name” matching to Outlook search to catch common variations in how names are spelled. For example, an Outlook search for “John” will also will bring up “Jon” or “Katheryn” in addition to “Catherine.” With relevancy-based search and fuzzy matching, Outlook ends the overload of searching through your company’s full directory and bubbles up the people you are most likely searching for.

New contact lists allow you to view people by the way you interact

Finally, we made several enhancements within the main People section itself. The biggest change is the addition of a new “Featured People” section that contains smart lists. Smart lists allow you to view people by the way you interact with them in Outlook—such as in email or shared meetings. Many of the lists are dynamic, which means the people in the list change as your interactions evolve over time. The smart lists include:

  • Frequently contacted—This list analyzes the strongest signals coming across all of Outlook to understand who you work with the most. It takes into account your communication, collaboration and business relationships.
  • On your calendar—List of the people found in your upcoming calendar appointments that day, which is extremely helpful when preparing for meetings. You can click through to the specific meeting to see who is attending, as well as drill down on any individual via the Contact pane.
  • For follow-up—List of the people who recently sent you email that might require your action. It is a good way to get an overview of who is writing you, what they are writing about and whether you have multiple follow-up items from the same person.
  • Favorites—The Favorites list is one you manage yourself. Similar to Skype favorites, you can add or remove people on your Favorites list for quick and easy access to the latest communication you’ve had with them—for people both inside and outside your organization.

If you’re a fan of a particular smart list, you can choose to “pin” so it opens by default when you switch to the People view. If the traditional Contacts list is more to your liking, you can choose it as your default instead.

Smart lists provide quick access to people based on how you interact with them.

In addition to smart lists, we improved the way we display your contacts so that you see the most relevant information at a glance such as the person’s name, email address, job title and office number. Clicking a name will bring up the Contact pane for more detailed information. These changes apply to your personal contacts, as well as people in your company directory.

Outlook people experience 1

Contact lists now provide information at a glance.

Share your feedback

Outlook is a customer-obsessed organization. If you have feedback or ideas you would like to share, please let us know via UserVoice.

Frequently asked questions

Q. When will these features roll out?

A. We are actively rolling these features out to our Office 365 First Release customers and will start rolling out worldwide in the coming weeks.

Q. What Office 365 subscriptions are eligible?

A. The features are available to all Office 365 commercial subscriptions that include Outlook on the web, including Business, Enterprise and EDU plans.

Q. Do the new improvements to the people experience expose any personal information about coworkers?

A. No. These enhancements to the user experience and added capabilities only present information already available in the company directory, Delve and Outlook. We are not providing additional information on coworkers or private information outside of the work environment. We are surfacing relevant business information already available but with fewer clicks and a more efficient layout.

Q. Will these features be coming to other Office 365 products including Outlook for desktop?

A. Yes. The changes announced today represent the first wave of enhancements to the people experience in Office 365. Over the coming months, we will be rolling out related improvements across numerous Office products and services including Outlook on the desktop.

Q. Will these features be coming to Outlook.com users?

A. The changes coming to the people experience are designed for productivity gains in commercial environments. We will continue to invest in improving people experiences for Outlook.com users, though they will not necessarily mirror the changes described here.

Follow the Summer Games in Rio with the new Outlook Interesting calendar feature

Outlook wants to make it easy to focus on what matters most to you. Toward this goal, we’ve recently made big improvements to help you stay on top of your travel reservations and package deliveries by showing summary cards in your inbox and automatically adding events to your calendar.

Today, we are introducing Outlook Interesting calendar—special calendar additions that help you track your favorite events. You will be able to add the 2016 Summer Games in Rio—as well as other popular sports—to your calendar. From the gold medal round of boxing to swimming relays to the gymnastic routines—we have you covered. Powered by Bing, Outlook Interesting calendar lets you browse a curated list of Summer Games, sports leagues and teams and add them to your calendar. Once added, your events will show up on your Outlook calendar across all your devices. It’s simple, intuitive and ensures you don’t miss a thing.

The Interesting calendar feature is rolling out to Outlook.com and Outlook on the web, as well as Outlook for iOS and Android. To start using Interesting calendar follow these easy steps:

  1. From your Outlook calendar, click Add calendar in the command bar.
  2. Select Interesting calendar.
  3. Select one of the available calendars and the events are added to your calendar.

Outlook Interesting calendar GIF

The Interesting calendar feature is currently available to users in North America on the new Outlook.com platform as well as for commercial users on Outlook on the web. In the coming weeks, Interesting calendar will be available to set up from Outlook for iOS and Android for users who have an Office 365 account. Once you add a calendar, the events will show up on all your Outlook calendars across your devices.

The Summer Games and Sports calendars are just the beginning. We will be increasing the scope of events we cover in the coming months. We also want to hear from you—what events would you like to see included? Let us know what you think and what interests you via Outlook UserVoice.

Outlook helps you focus on what matters to you

Editor’s note 12/12/2017:
Update on rollout for commercial Office 365 customers:

Here is an updated list of supported Outlook clients.

Platform Required build
iOS Already available.
Android Already available.
Mac1 15.26+
Web N/A, available to all.
Windows 10 Mobile 16.0.8600+
Outlook 2016 for Windows1, 2 16.0.7967.2xxx+ / Version 1703 of Monthly Channel

Coming in July 2018 for Semi-Annual release. Coming in March 2018 for Semi-Annual Targeted.

  1. Requires the Office 365 subscription versions of the clients. Focused Inbox will not be delivered to Outlook for Mac 2011, or the perpetual versions of Outlook 2013 for Windows and Outlook 2016 for Windows.
  2. Prior to build 16.0.8730 Version 1711, requires Modern Authentication to be enabled for Exchange Online.

 

Original post:
We are being inundated with more information, more communication and more email vying for our attention. It is more critical than ever to have tools that help us cut through the noise and focus on what matters most. Today, Outlook is expanding the availability of two new experiences to do just that—Focused Inbox and @mentions.

These new experiences add to several recently released features, all aimed at helping you take control of your mailbox. In December, Outlook began automatically adding events from your email to your calendar. And last month we added simplified summary cards in your inbox and calendar for travel reservations and package deliveries. Combined, these features help deliver on Outlook’s core mission: Keeping you connected, focused and on top of what matters.

Focused Inbox—focus on the emails that matter most

For many, the inbox is the command center for their day. It’s the way to keep track of what is going on and what needs to get done. Outlook’s Focused Inbox makes this process easier by helping you focus on the emails that matter most to you. It separates your inbox into two tabs—Focused and Other. Emails you need to act on right away are in the Focused tab, while the rest wait for you in Other. You’ll be informed about email flowing to Other, and you can switch between tabs at any time to take a quick look.

You’re in control

Focused Inbox is not meant to take control of your mail, but rather work with you to prioritize what is actionable for you. What lands in your Focused Inbox is determined by an understanding of the people you interact with often, and the content of the email itself (e.g., newsletters, machine generated mail, etc.). If you need to fine tune your Focused Inbox, just use the “Move to Focused” or “Move to Other” options.

What this means for Clutter

Focused Inbox is a refinement and improvement of a previous feature called Clutter. Clutter’s purpose was also to help you focus on the most important items in your inbox, but it did so by moving “Other” email to a separate folder. Focused Inbox makes it easier for you to stay on top of incoming email without having to visit another folder.

As Focused Inbox rolls out, we’ll stop moving messages to the Clutter folder. See the “Frequently asked questions” below for more details on how this will work.

Rollout of Focused Inbox

Focused Inbox was first released on Outlook for iOS and Android and is being used daily by tens of millions of users. Now, it is coming to all versions of Outlook to give you one consistent view of the important items in your inbox. It begins rolling out this week for users of the new Outlook.com and will soon start rolling out for Office 365 customers in our First Release program in early September. Office 365 admins will have mailbox and tenant level control of the feature to stage the rollout in a manner that works best for their organization.

Let us know what you think!

If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, you can try these new features today by signing up for the Office Insider program. If you have any feedback on these features or new ideas, please share them with us at Outlook.UserVoice.com. Stay tuned for more to come!

—The Outlook team

Frequently asked questions

Q. What will the experience be for users of Clutter moving to Focused Inbox?

A. Active Clutter users will receive Focused Inbox, but it will be off by default and able to be turned on in Settings. If the user chooses to enable Focused Inbox, they will no longer receive less actionable email in the Clutter folder. Instead, email will be split between the Focused and Other tabs in their inbox. The same machine-learned algorithm that moved items to the Clutter folder now powers Focused Inbox, meaning that any emails that were set to move to Clutter will now be moved to Other.

Read this help article for more details on the prompts users will see and how to turn Focused Inbox on and off.

Q. Can I keep using Clutter instead of Focused Inbox?

A. You can keep using the existing Clutter experience through the transition. However, after the transition period, Clutter will be completely replaced by Focused Inbox.

Q. If I turned off Clutter, will I still be able to try Focused Inbox?

A. Yes, you’ll receive a prompt to try Focused Inbox when your mailbox is ready.

Q. What controls will I have available as an IT admin for controlling this rollout in my organization?

A. Office 365 admins can manage the rollout of Focused Inbox for their users with tenant and mailbox level controls using PowerShell. To learn more, see “Configure Focused Inbox for everyone in your organization.”

Q. I’m using Focused Inbox already on Outlook for iOS or Android; does anything change for me?

A. Nothing will change in Outlook for iOS and Android. As our other Outlook apps are updated to include Focused Inbox, you will now see the same set of items in both the Focused Inbox and Other across all your Outlook clients.

Q. Is it possible to turn off Focused Inbox?

A. You can turn Focused Inbox off or on at any time from any version of Outlook. However, we hear from our Outlook for iOS and Android users that they love Focused Inbox, and we hope you give it a try as it rolls out to all of our other Outlook clients.

Q. What email accounts will @mentions work for?

A. The sender features of @mentions will be available to all—regardless of the type of mailbox or email service you are using in Outlook. The recipient features of @mentions (message list improvements, blue highlighting in reading pane) are only available for recipients using Outlook with Office 365 or the new Outlook.com accounts. We will add support for the recipient features of @mentions in Outlook when connected to other emails account (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo) later this year.