Outlook for Android Leaves Preview

Posted on April 22, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 0

Outlook for Android Leaves Preview

Microsoft announced today that Outlook for Android is now generally available, meaning that the mobile app is no longer in preview.

“Today, Microsoft is removing the preview label from Outlook for Android,” a Microsoft representative told me. “Since their initial release, the team has been diligently updating the apps, [giving] them an improved look and feel that is optimized for the OS, added IMAP support, revised the People section to give you a more streamlined look at contacts from across your email accounts, added customizable swipe gestures, and more.”

As you may recall, Microsoft first released Outlook for both Android and iOS in January, though the Android version was considered a preview, and both were basically just rebranded versions of the Accompli apps on which they are based. Since then, Microsoft has updated these apps quite regularly, adding missing features and making them more suitable for managed corporate environments in particular.

Indeed, Microsoft notes that it has updated Outlook for Android 17 times this year so far. I don’t believe the GA version of the app has any new features per se, but here are some of the things Microsoft added or improved so far:

Improved look and feel. “It was also important for Outlook to feel like a natural part of Android,” Microsoft explains. So it used common Android design principles like the Navigation Drawer to house multiple tools have common actions like settings available in the App Overflow menu.

IMAP support. In addition to Office 365, Exchange, Outlook.com, iCloud, Gmail and Yahoo Mail accounts, Outlook now supports IMAP too, opening up the app to services like AOL.com and Comcast.net.

People improvements. Microsoft recently improved Outlook’s People section, replacing the previous lightweight view with a unified view or contacts from all your email accounts.

Directory search. Now you can find contact details for someone in your workplace’s full organizational directory (also known as the Global Address List or GAL).

Three-day view in Calendar. Microsoft added a Three-day calendar view when in landscape.

Custom swipe gestures. The swipe gestures in Outlook let you swipe right or left to take actions like archive, delete, move, flag, mark as read/unread or schedule. And you can personalize these swipe gestures.

Looking forward, Microsoft says it will continue to ship improvements and other updates “every few weeks.” To get your request in the queue, be sure to use the feedback tool in the app: It’s in Settings, Help, Contact Support.

You can download Outlook for Android from the Google Play Store.

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