Today, Microsoft announced a major update to Outlook Mobile for Android and iPhone, adding several new features to its Calendar component. And a few of them were inspired by the Sunrise app that Microsoft will soon retire.
“Whether you’re planning your next dinner date or an upcoming meeting with teammates, the Outlook team’s mission is to provide you with the best calendar app out there,” Microsoft’s Javier Soltero explains. “Today, we’re happy to share that it’s about to get even better on iOS and Android—with new features and a better overall experience to help you manage and make the most of your day.”
Here’s what’s new.
Interesting Calendars. Following the roll-out of Interesting Calendars on Outlook on the web and new Outlook.com, Microsoft is adding it to Outlook on Android and iPhone. This feature lets you subscribe to sports team schedules in a manner similar to adding Calendar apps such as Evernote, Facebook, and Wunderlist. (And yes, this kind of thing has been around for virtually forever in solutions like iCal.)
Event icons. Taking a page from the Sunrise playbook—remember, Microsoft is getting ready to retire that standalone Calendar solution—Outlook for Android and iPhone now automatically adds cute little icons to events marked as “coffee,” “lunch,” and the like. They’re fun, but these icons can also help you visually find events more quickly. Which is why you see them in so many calendar apps.
Improved date and time pickers. And speaking of features inspired by Sunrise, Microsoft has updated the date and time pickers in Outlook Calendar to be more like their equivalents on Outlook on the web or PC desktop. This feature is available in Outlook for iPhone now and is coming to Android soon, Microsoft says.
Maps in event details. When you add a location to an event, you will now see that location in a map embedded in the event. You can then tap on the map to get directions to that location.
Improved editing of recurring meetings. Now, when you change the time, location, attendees of a recurring meeting—or delete one—Outlook will prompt you if you wish to do so for just that one meeting or for all of them. You know, just like a big boy calendar.
Create Skype for Business meetings. Now you can add a Skype for Business meeting to a new event you create on the phone. When the meeting occurs, you can also join the call right from within Outlook. But here’s the weird part: Microsoft says this feature has “rolled out to about 75 percent of users” and that “all users should see it soon.”
I don’t actually see this app update on either Android or iPhone but I’ll keep looking.