Looking out to Outlook for iOS: The Name We Thought We Knew
The name changed its connotations recently when Microsoft started a mail service named Outlook.com in fact, it started as a revamped Hotmail, and now…eh… do you still remember the name? And in 2015 Outlook became mobile. Microsoft decided to start anew and started with purchasing an independent mail app Acompli that was later rebranded into new Outlook.
Maybe that’s why there were no remains of that old computer-like interface or Modern UI traces. New Outlook received deserved praises from most observers. And let’s see why.
Look outWhat catches your eye when you start Outlook? We guess nothing. The app looks just like a mail client should look - like a PC client looks, in fact, with all touch features you need to use it comfortably.
It’s extremely easy to add your accounts. The app has native support for Office365 and Outlook.com formerly known as Hotmail, it’s understood. But you can add iCloud, Google, Yahoo with the same ease. And in case you need that you can set up manually your Exchange or IMAP accounts.
In the left column, you have all your accounts with their inner folders.
Mark your mail "focused" to pay more attention to this kind of mail.
And yes, there are still organizer features. You can schedule letters with one swipe right. When you do so, the app requests you select the time to do the task from the list or set it manually. When the time comes you get a reminder. And yes, there’s unified Schedule folder for all your accounts so you won’t be confused.
You also get unified contacts base that contains, among your contacts, books from different services joined, a calendar joined with your system one and a possibility to connect external accounts you don’t have to activate in your system.
Android vs. iOSWhen we compare Outlook versions for different platforms we, first of all, compare platforms themselves. Android is totally open, and iOS is totally protected and optimized, and that’s where all pros and cons come from.
Both apps provide easy access to the files opened last. And if you have connected cloud drives (including Box, Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive, but not iCloud, how come), you can access any file stored there. Android users may complain about no access to local file system. iDevice owners are out of this feature from the beginning, so this decision equalizes all of them.
Apple Watch owners can enjoy notifications on the watch screen at new incoming emails or upcoming events. This feature is native. Android users with smartwatches would have to dig a little deeper to activate alerts on their wrists.
Better than native
If we compare Outlook to the native iOS mail app, we’ll find out a lot of advantages.
- Exchange support. Outlook has a native Exchange feature that other mail apps lack.
- Power economy. Battery saving is what Outlook can boast aloud about.
- Easy gesture commands. You need just one gesture to archive the letter, to mark it as a task to do and so on.
- Filters. It’s easy to display unread mail only, marked mail, emails with attachments, or by keywords.
- Push notifications. They alert you when a new email is delivered or when a reminder time comes. Strangely it’s a rare feature for mobile mail apps.
- OneDrive native support. Microsoft’s cloud is considered one of the best even after that space scandal.
- Fully functional built-in calendar you can add events to directly or by scheduling emails. And yes, it’s integrated with Outlook cloud.
- Printing messages directly from the app via wireless printing solutions.
- Multilingual support (43 interface languages as of December 2015)
Free cheese, really?Are there any paid features? Suddenly, no. But it doesn’t mean you can have anything for free: it’s Microsoft anyway. If you have a paid subscription like Office 365 or extended OneDrive, you’ll have much more possibilities with Outlook. You’ll be able to edit your docs easier, to send larger files, to have full access to your Microsoft cloud, to use corporate features. For example, you can join your phone book and Exchange contacts base.
Outlook has received several minor updates during 2015. After iPhone 6s was released the developers added 3D Touch support. There are some issues with Android version updating. Late in December users started complaining about not loading message body and not syncing contacts. But surely it will be fixed in the next update.
And due to new Microsoft policy, the company will release new features for iOS and Android straight away, without holding them back to let Windows Phone lead the way. So after a year on the market Microsoft Outlook keeps surprising us, maybe, for the first time since the name sounded loud back in 1997.