Microsoft Outlook app for phones is going to get smarter. Microsoft has announced a bevy of new features, at the Build 2018 conference earlier this week, which will be rolling out on desktops as well as the mobile and web version of Outlook.
Some of the features showcased at the conference have started rolling out, as we speak, while there is another set of features which will show up in the next few weeks.
The features that you can take advantage of right away include the option to manage appointments across different time zones, access the entire email directory of your company on Outlook mobile app, get quick suggestions for meeting locations and get reminders to pay bills. Here are the features which we expect to see soon.
Expanding continue to PC
Outlook allows users to start a draft on the mobile app and complete it on the PC. Similarly users cans start a draft on PC and finish on smartphone. However, until now this was only available to Android and Windows users. Now, Microsoft is extending the feature to Apple users. So iPhone users can now start composing an email on the app and complete it on Mac or Windows PC right from where they left it. The feature is expected to roll out sometime this month.
Embedding scans and photos made easy
Microsoft is going to integrate its photo and document scanning app Office Lens with Outlook mobile app. This means users will be able to open Lens inside Outlook by tapping on the new camera icon in the compose mail page. This will let users capture a document, photo or whiteboard and even carry out edits or minor enhancements using the tools in Lens before they could send them off as attachments on the email. This will help users draft quick emails with attachments captured within it.
The art of quick reply, chat messenger style
The arrival of chat messengers have changed the way people communicate. Developers are trying to incorporate new features in their email clients so users could reply to emails with the same swiftness. Gmail’s AI backed Smart Reply is one the examples of it. Microsoft is not going for nothing fancy yet and is sticking to the simpler but handy alternatives such as the addition of a new reply box at the bottom of the screen. Users will be able to reply instantly in a chat messenger like interface on mobile and desktop. The idea is to speed up the process of replying. The feature will be available across all platforms by the end of summer.
Finding favourite people more easily on mobile
Outlook users will soon be able to tag their favourite people in the Android and iOS app. This will help users quickly identify the people they are communicating with more frequently. The favourite will shows at the top of the message folder. The feature is already availble on the desktop app and web version and the favourites list on the smartphone will be synced with the list on the web version. The favourites will roll out for iOS and Android in June 2018.
More privacy tools for mobile users
Outlook for web restricts images with hidden trackers sent over emails from learning whether or when the email and attachment was accessed by the recipient. These emails are often sent by marketers and advertisers so they could target users with more appropriate content or advertisements. Now Microsoft is making the feature available on the Outlook mobile app. it will be rolling out on Android sometime this month.