Microsoft announced major updates to the Office Mobile app on both Android and iOS today and pledged that it would integrate more functionality from its acquisition of Sunrise into Outlook Mobile in the coming months.
Additionally, Microsoft revealed that over 30 million people are now actively using Outlook Mobile on smart phones and tablets. As you know, I’m one of them: I use and recommend Outlook Mobile on both Android and iOS (and on Windows phones as well, of course).
Here’s what’s happening.
Outlook for iOS
On iOS, the new version of Outlook Mobile features what Microsoft calls a “fresh new look.” It mostly looks the same as before, really, but there are a number of small changes that add up to some nice refinement: more obvious visual cues, improved navigation, simpler and easier attachments, various Calendar improvements, and more.
Outlook for Android
Outlook for Android now deeply leverages Google’s Material Design, offering a more consistent look and feel with the rest of Android.
Sunrise integration with Outlook Mobile
According to Microsoft, this week’s Outlook Mobile update on iOS was partially the result of work from the folks from Sunrise, which Microsoft had acquired. And this work will be showing up in Outlook Mobile in November and then—yes, really—on Windows phones after that.
“Over the past few months, we put [Sunrise’s] design expertise and fresh thinking to work on helping us deliver a more beautiful and improved experience,” Microsoft’s explained. “The Sunrise team is now officially a part of the broader Outlook product team… Better Outlook calendaring gives you more ability to manage your personal and professional life from a single, powerful app. Over the coming months, you’ll see richer calendar experiences come to Outlook from Sunrise—including Interesting Calendars and connections to your favorite apps and services. You will also see improvements to Outlook’s ability to create meetings while on the go and handle meetings across time zones.”
What this means is that Outlook will eventually replace the Sunrise mobile app. Microsoft says it will keep Sunrise in app stores “until its features are fully integrated into Outlook, the exact timing of which [Microsoft] will communicate in advance.”