Microsoft today announced a number of new features coming to Outlook.com, plus one for Outlook on the Web, part of Office 365. Key among them is support for Google Drive and Facebook photos.
I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I find Microsoft’s use of the term “Outlook” to be confusing, and with this announcement in particular, it’s a bit hard to figure out which “versions” of Outlook are getting some of the updates.
As I understand it, when Microsoft uses just the term “Outlook,” they are speaking broadly and mean it to encompass all of the various Outlook clients, including Outlook 2016 for Windows and Mac, Outlook Mail/Calendar/People for Windows 10/Mobile, Outlook for Android and iOS, Outlook.com (for consumers) and Outlook on the Web (part of Office 365 for businesses). But that’s a long list, and it’s not clear to me when Microsoft says, “Outlook was just updated with ” that that literally refers to every single one of those solutions.
(Let’s add another wrinkle. There are the old and the new versions of Outlook.com to consider. Here, every reference to Outlook.com means the new version, which you may not yet have. I certainly don’t.)
With all that out of the way, here’s how I understand the changes Microsoft has announced:
Google Drive support for Outlook.com. Now, Outlook.com users can access their Google Drive-based files directly from the web UI when sending attachments. This feature was already available in Outlook for Android and iOS.
Edit Google Doc, Slide and Sheet documents. Also new to Outlook.com and tied to that previous feature is the ability to open—and even edit, if you have permission—Google Doc, Slide and Sheet documents right from within Outlook.com. (This is one of the places where Microsoft annoyingly just used the term “Outlook”; I believe they only mean Outlook.com here.)
Facebook photos support for Outlook.com. You can now connect your Facebook account to Outlook.com so that you can share photos from that service via email.
Easier attachments in Outlook on the Web. (And to be clear, that means “Office 365 commercial subscriptions that include Outlook on the web.”) Now, Outlook on the Web places a single attachment icon at the top of long email threads so you can find all of the attachments from that single location. No more hunting around.
And to be clear, these new features aren’t available quite yet: Microsoft says they will be rolling out over the next few weeks.