Back in July, Microsoft announced a major update to Outlook for Android and iOS, adding new conversation and navigation experiences. At that time, it also said that it would revamp search and make it front and center in a new, simplified menu bar. Today, the firm began external testing for that new search experience.
“This update is designed to help you find the information you’re looking for more quickly and efficiently,” Microsoft’s Amy Rambhia writes. “We’ve made search front and center, giving it its own tab in our new simplified navigation bar.”
Here’s what new in this release.
New search experience. When you tap on the Search icon at the bottom of the screen, your top contacts, upcoming travel itineraries, package deliveries, and recent attachments will appear, without any typing. You can also tap any contact to quickly search for messages from that person.
Universal search. The updated search experience lets you search for emails, files, and contacts, all from the same place, and at the same time. It also works across all configured accounts, work and personal.
Improved filters. Search results can now be filtered, so you can search only one of your accounts, or show only those emails with an attachment.
New location for contacts and files. The Contacts and Files experiences have been integrated into the Search tab. This means you can now get to emails from a contact, see details about a contact, or create a new contact, in fewer steps.
To test this and other new features, you need to sign up for the Office Insider program. You’ll be notified if and when you’re accepted.