Outlook’s mobile app is getting a huge boost on Android and the iPhone. Redmond today announced a couple of major changes coming to Outlook on Android and iOS that’ll radically improve the app. Design improvements are a major part of the new Outlook updates, but Microsoft is also integrating the power of its Graph service into Outlook to take its search feature a step further.
The big focus of the upcoming updates to Outlook is the new and improved search feature. Microsoft is putting Outlook’s new search feature right at the center of the app, which you can now access from the app’s homepage with a single tap. When you start searching, Outlook will now show you a lot of different content rather than just listing all the emails that match a certain query. The new app is leveraging Microsoft Graph in order to provide contextual information and intelligent search results. For instance, it will now show you things like email attachments, flight information, and all of your most frequent contacts right at the top of the search page.
Microsoft is redesigning the navigation on Outlook, which will make it much easier for users with multiple email addresses to switch between their different account. The navigation in Outlook now includes a sidebar which stores all of your different accounts, and clicking on one of your accounts will automatically show you all the different folders. The redesigned navigation also gives you quick access to the settings of the app.
Microsoft is also working on key changes to the conversations UI on Outlook. The company is adding a quick reply feature to the app, which effectively works like a chat app where you can easily reply to a thread. When using the quick reply feature, Outlook lets you select whether you want to send a reply to all participants in a thread or just to specific users. The quick reply UI will include a button which you can click on to access all the other actions, including things like attaching a file or forwarding an email.
iOS users will be the first ones to try out the new set of Outlook features. Starting today, Microsoft is rolling out improvements to the conversations UI and navigation UI for Outlook users on iOS with Outlook.com and Gmail accounts. The company plans on rolling out the new search feature “soon”. As for Android users, they will have to wait a couple of months.
And for Windows 10 users, there’s no word on whether these features will ever come to the Outlook Mail app in Microsoft’s own OS.