Outlook is an email and personal info organizer from Microsoft, and is made available as part of the MS Office Suite. In addition to being an email app it has a calendar, task and contact manager, a journal, and allows you to take notes as well. Recently, Microsoft announced that they had achieved the 25 million user landmark for the Outlook tool.
With an increasing number of people switching over to Smartphones and tablets to communicate and work on the go, it was only a matter of time before developers rushed in to create apps to simplify many of their tasks. Of course, Microsoft could not be left far behind.
They launched an Outlook app for the Android ecosystem, and this includes push notifications, calendar and synchronization. It is a move that is thought to provide some competition to Google’s Gmail. Microsoft is promoting this app as an alternative for people who are getting a little bored with Gmail. Remember that Gmail is pre installed on all Android devices; so Microsoft is trying to entice users to switch over by offering something new.
And so far, the response to this app has been hugely positive, with millions using it since its inception in July this year.
This app is not an entirely new creation; one can see some remnants of the Hotmail app here and there.
These are the main features of the new app:
- Keyboard Shortcuts: users will be able to configure keyboard shortcuts in Outlook.com to reflect the shortcuts in the Outlook, Gmail and other apps on their desktop computers.
- Syncing with calendar and contacts on your device
- View and synchronize standard and custom folders and sub-folders
- Send and receive photos and other file attachments
- You will be able to access mail quickly by using search operators; for example, click “/” and then use “To:”, “Subj:”, and so on.
- You will be able to send messages double quick by selecting the “tab” key from the mail composing window. This will automatically transfer the attention to the “Send” button.
- Archiving is super fast
- Greater number of color themes
- Conversation threading: you will now have the option to turn on conversation threading and thus see all queries and reactions in a conversation, in a single view.
- Option to trim the message so only the subject is displayed
- You can have multiple Outlook accounts
It is expected that Microsoft will continue to add more exciting features to the app in the coming days.
According to Microsoft, Android devices are not able to provide reliable support for Exchange ActiveSync natively, and this is what prompted them to launch Outlook.com for Android. They also claim that several Gmail users preferred the streamlined layout and uncluttered design of the Outlook app over Gmail. You can check out the app in the Google Play store.
So far these claims are true, and how many users will actually abandon Gmail in favor of Outlook, remains to be seen.
This guest post is brought to you by Mark Dwayne of buytimewarnercable.com, a site that offers savings and current information on time warner cable internet prices.