Microsoft Outlook Gets a Big Update on iOS

Posted on January 11, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Office 365, Mobile, iOS, Android, Office with 26 Comments

Microsoft Outlook Gets a Big Update on iOS

Outlook is one of the bright spots for Microsoft in mobile, but it’s also fair to say that this app has a few weak spots too. But they’re working on that, and this week the software giant issued a fairly major update on iOS that addresses a few of those shortcomings.

So, what issues does the latest version of Outlook address? Here’s the list.

Create and edit recurring events. You can now create and edit recurring events straight from the Calendar module in the app. (This feature requires an Office 365 subscription.)

Reading improvements. This is one that’s bothered me, but Microsoft has finally improved the way that emails with very small font are displayed. “They should now be much more readable,” Microsoft notes.

Search improvements. Outlook now displays search results by conversation rather than as individual results. “This means that if you search for ‘holidays’, [the app will] show you that very long family thread about what to have for dinner as just one result,” Microsoft notes. Previously, this might have displayed 23 (or whatever) different results.

Passbook support. Outlook now supports Passbook, the iOS wallet app, which is also used to store coupons, boarding passes, event tickets, store cards, and loyalty cards. Meaning you can now do things like see your flight details right from the inbox.

On Android, Outlook picked up that first change—the ability to create and edit recurring events—back in late December. But I’m not sure if the other improvements are available yet on Android.

And of course, as any Android-weilding user of Outlook will tell you, Microsoft has yet to address the single biggest—and most inexcusable—problem with Outlook, its inability to edit or manage contacts in any meaningful way. The software giant says it’s working on that.

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Comments (26)

26 responses to “Microsoft Outlook Gets a Big Update on iOS”

  1. 430

    "And of course, as any Android-weilding user of Outlook will tell you, Microsoft has yet to address the single biggest—and most inexcusable—problem with Outlook, its inability to edit or manage contacts in any meaningful way."


    Fix the freaking contacts, and you'll have me back.  This must be a "difficult computer science problem" for them, too.  I know they inherited what is now "Outlook" on Android via corporate acquisition, but how you release an app that is, by name, known for being a productivity hub without the ability to manage contacts is just mind-boggling.

  2. 691

    Strange... My lowly 950XL has been able to create/edit recurring calendar entries for quite awhile in Outlook.

  3. 7235

    Still no two-way sync with the device's contacts or calendar and not being able to edit recurrences on anything other than office 365 is just stilly.


    The two-way sync is a deal breaker because I need those phone numbers etc. to actually dial/text people and when I add someone from the phone app that called me, I should have to copy and paste to get it into the right spot, it should just work.


    Same with Calendar. Waze needs my calendar to be able to tell me when to leave for things. Right now if you use Outlook you don't get that. And many other apps have similar stuff that require it.

    Uninstalled it on my Android device and went to Nine while I wait for them to make this thing actually work the way people use it.

    • 9943

      In reply to JohnGalt1717:

      I'm with you, John. I found Nine a few months back primarily for the ability to actually manage my account tasks and contacts. I started using tasks in favor of additional task management apps to keep all of my productivity data under one umbrella. Nine seemed to be the best experience on Android for this functionality.

  4. 4636

    Outlook is not logging into my accounts anymore. Ios email works fine. 

    Anyone else seeing this

    • 2226

      In reply to EdAM:

      My @outlook account is working OK, but other connected accounts have been having trouble for the past couple of months.  From Go to Settings | Connected Accounts.  Try manually clicking the refresh button.  You may need to re-enter the password for the account.

    • 4609

      In reply to EdAM:

      I'm not able to access my O365 account. Tried deleting and re-adding it, but I can't  login on the re-add. My Gmail accounts were also a little wonky but seem to have figured themselves out. 

    • 231

      In reply to EdAM:

      I saw the same thing. I had to re-add my accounts to get them to work.

  5. 5184

    Have they added the ability to change the notification sounds to a custom sound or use the iOS defaults?  It is infuriating that this can't be done.  Been on uservoice for a year and a half.

    Would also love to be able to turn off the duplicate notification Outlook seems to throw up when I unlock the device.  It just gets in the way when you're unlocking the phone to do something else.

  6. 942

    Sorry Outlook, but, on my phone, I want different entry points for email and calendar. I tried Outlook for 3 months and went back to the two separated Samsung Apps on my Galaxy S7 Edge

  7. 289

    And still no way to add/edit a contact's photo in  It's been requested over and over, going back more than four(!) years. This is baffling.

  8. 1513

    I keep hoping Microsoft integrates Skype for Business a little bit better into there Apple apps. I have a Microsoft PTSN phone number attached to my Skype account, and when I make a Skype meeting in Outlook for Windows it includes the phone number. But it doesn't include the phone number in the invite from Mac or iOS.

    we are trying to use Skype for business at work as much as we can, but little things keep hurting its usefulness.

    sorry for the tangent, I just keep hoping that one of these updates will actually fix my issues. I do love outlook on my iPhone, it's he only email client I use.

  9. 2050

    I still have trouble with Outlook on Win 10 Mail. It doesn't sync sometimes between different devices, even other Win 10 Mail apps on laptops and tablets, and iOS mail app. Anyone else having the same problem. I use an over decade old Hotmail account, and have been upgraded to the new Outlook online web client also.

  10. 9201

    Outlook (Mail and Calendar) are the worst on WM10, with erratic, stuck an unreliable Live Tiles. Outlook is a bag of dirty pants on mobile, steer well clear. Microsoft  WP8 at least had decent reliable Live Tiles for their mail and Calendar notifications.

    So again its pretty obvious Microsoft are no longer investing in their own W10M apps.

  11. 8540

    I switch back and forth btwn a Google Pixel and iPhone and I have to say the difference in app quality between the two platforms is especially evident with Outlook.  It took me a while to figure out that contacts added on Android would disappear on the Pixel due to the one-way sync issue.  It's really inexcusable this issue has gone on as long as it has.  Contact management is fundamental and MSFT should focus on fixing this before other lesser priorities.  Also, there is a lot of wasted space on the Android version of Outlook.  Each email has cartoonish initials from the sender that add no value and take up entirely too much screen space.

  12. 3494

    I don't see a way to create or edit recurring events on my android and I have the latest.  I do have an Office 365 account. Back to the Gmail app or Nine. Also syncing is not terrific either. If I add an event with the app, it doesn't appear on the web version and vice versa most frequently. Email syncing is not great either. 

  13. 442

    Only if Outlook on iOS and Android didn't eat so much battery!  Oh well.

  14. 422

    I have to say, they fixed aliases on Android and ever since after that I love the app. Do not care for contacts as that I handle using my Google Account. I even use the calendar after they killed Sunrise.

    Very good app now. Hope they do not mess it up...

    • 430

      In reply to iPetr:

      I've used that approach before, too, but the problem there is that you don't have access to the system level contacts within the Outlook app.  You end out having to deal with two entirely separate contact stores, which again, is ridiculous for an app that's supposed to function as an all-in-one productivity hub.

  15. 4853

    The Calendar UI is still garbage though. Where's the features and fit-and-finish from Sunrise?

    Also, I don't need to see the initials of the first 4 attendees for every meeting in 'Agenda' view! It wastes SO much space! It's like the devs don't use their own product.

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