Microsoft Announces Improvements To The Outlook App
Microsoft has recently announced an upgrade for Android version of the Outlook app, which is set to receive the ability to synchronise shared calendars with your smartphone. Microsoft ended development of Windows for the smartphone, switching to bringing its range of productivity applications and services to the iOS and Android platforms. We’ve seen the suite of Microsoft Office first launched and then rapidly improved: and this is good, because Microsoft is a late starter to the Android app scene. Microsoft Outlook has also been improved, which is good news as early versions of the application were not very functional. Interestingly enough, Outlook has not had the ability to manage shared calendars or respond to recurring events from the smartphone but this is about to change.
One of the main new features is the ability to access shared Office 365 and Outlook.com calendars. The update also allows users to share their own calendars, and you can accept sharing invitations from within the application. Microsoft are at pains to let customers know that the shared calendar technology needs to be upgraded across the board and this means that at first, not all customers will have access to a previously-shared calendar. As a workaround, Microsoft’s blog explains that: “…simply re-accept the sharing invitation from [and] … your shared calendar will appear.” This suspiciously sounds like turning it off and back on again. From next Microsoft..? Never..!
Microsoft has also added the ability to manage delegate calendars from the mobile application, together with a clear indication if a meeting request is for you or your delegate. Microsoft is also getting in on the collaboration meeting side of things by introducing support for “Meetup,” a new Calendar application within Outlook. Also, one of the more basic calendar features is being added to the mobile application: the ability to create recurring events together with the ability to accept and decline individual entries in a recurring event series. Finally, Outlook users will be able to set the Private flag, and mark an appointment as “Free,” “Busy,” “Out of Office” and my personal favourite, “Tentative.”
Microsoft explain that they selected the features to work on next based on customer feedback via the customer Outlook UserVoice service. But I have to ask… how does Microsoft test the Outlook application? The features that the company is adding are no great shakes, and for those people who use Outlook on the desktop, having to refer doing something until you get back to a Windows 10 machine is, quite frankly, lame. I never started using the Microsoft Outlook for Android for my Exchange accounts because of this lack of features and the whole Microsofty look and feel.