Outlook Mobile App Enhancements

I am a huge fan of the Outlook Mobile App. I find the app to be simple and easy to use.

A little history lesson: back when Office 365 started up (2010) Microsoft’s answer for mobile connectivity into their Exchange Online service was an app called “OWA for Devices.” I was happy to stop using my Android mail app in favor of separating my personal and work email. I had started to use that application but it didn’t take too long before I grew frustrated with the app functioning consistently. After it got to the point where I had to start resetting the app on a weekly basis, I gave up on it and moved back to the Android mail app.

In late 2014, Microsoft purchased the company Acompli for their mobile app. In early 2015, Acompli was rebranded to “Outlook for iOS and Android.” Once again, I ditched my Android mail app and moved into the Outlook app. I recall my first impressions being favorable, despite some initial early quirks (like not being able to remove recipients when using reply-to-all). I stuck with it.

Fast forward three years, the Outlook mobile app has quickly become our favored email app for Office 365 migrations. We recommend its use in every project for a number of reasons (here are three):

  1. It has a similar user experience as Outlook on the Web (OWA) and Outlook on the Desktop.
  2. The app functions nearly identically on iOS and Android platforms (easier for IT to support).
  3. It natively supports modern authentication for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) enabled accounts!

Upcoming Enhancements

New abilities being added over the next six months:

Apply labels to emails – This is using the Azure Information Protection service to classify/brand messages with certain restrictions or sensitivity settings.

Restrict to corporate mail – Adding the ability to restrict the Outlook app to only corporate accounts (no personal accounts).

Enforce consistency – Adding a scalability option to enforce global settings (ie. on/off for synchronizing contacts, enabling MailTips, disabling Focused Inbox).

Simpler account setup – Adding the capability to push configurations to devices on initial setup so the user is able to setup an account faster.

Teams integration – Ability to create and join a Teams meeting.

Favorite notifications – Ability to prioritize notifications for select users. By proxy, this would limit the number of notifications you would receive to only your favorites.

Calendar sharing – Ability to add other calendars!! (without adding a second account). Other calendar types include: Rooms, People, Shared.

Calendar search – Ability to search through your calendar to find a specific event.

From a user perspective, I would say that the Teams integration and Calendar enhancements are likely the best updates coming out.

From a technical perspective, I would say that the policy options are the most important (for security & compliance).

What questions do you have about Outlook?  Leave a comment or contact us with your tech questions. It might even end up a topic for a future blog post!

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