Microsoft announced today that it is adding enhanced voice capabilities in Outlook mobile for iOS. And yes, they’re coming to Outlook on Android soon.
“Today we are announcing new enhanced voice capabilities in Outlook mobile for iOS (and coming soon to Android) that make using voice to schedule meetings and compose emails simpler for everyone,” Microsoft corporate vice president Jared Spataro announced. “These new AI-enhanced voice capabilities quickly contextualize your voice requests and provide a rapid response, making it more easy and natural to work on the go.”
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The new voice features are:
Schedule a meeting. Microsoft’s description of how this will work doesn’t make sense, so I’ll just paraphrase: Soon, there will be a microphone icon somewhere in Outlook’s Calendar view that you will be able to use to tell Cortana what you want to do. “Cortana uses AI to help you find the right file, connect with a particular co-worker, or manage your calendar,” Mr. Spataro notes. “Let’s say you want to quickly know what’s coming up next on your schedule. Just tap the microphone icon and ask something like, ‘When’s my next team meeting?’; Cortana will instantly contextualize your answer and get you up to speed.”
Natural language search. You will be able to say something like “Find emails sent to John with attachments about the Q1 project budget” without needing to rely on key search terms.
Dictation. Dictation in Outlook mobile works similarly to how it works in Word and Outlook on Windows: It lets you use your voice to respond to or write new email messages.