Microsoft announced two major feature updates for Outlook for Mac today, support for add-ins and, on new MacBook Pros, the Touch Bar.
As you may know, Microsoft has created a cross-platform add-ins infrastructure for Outlook, and has in the past brought this capability to Outlook for Windows desktop (Outlook 2016), Outlook for iOS,Outlook.com, and Outlook on the web (part of Office 365 commercial). So this release of add-ins for Outlook for Mac brings Microsoft that much closer to full coverage. (Though Android remains a big hole, and I suppose someone could make the case for the Mail app on Windows 10.)
Add-ins for Outlook for Mac work as they do on other platforms, of course—in fact, they are literally the same add-ons, that’s the point—and “bring your favorite apps to your inbox.” The idea is that you won’t have to leave an email you’re writing to accomplish some task; instead, you can get it done right there.
Some of the Outlook adds-ins that Microsoft is highlighting include Boomerang, Dynamics 365, Evernote, GIPHY, Microsoft Translator, Nimble, Smartsheet, and Starbucks.
On the Mac, you install these add-ins from the Office Store: Just click the Store icon in the Outlook ribbon.
As for Touch Bar, this support comes about a month after Microsoft added it to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
“The Touch Bar in Outlook intelligently provides quick access to the most commonly used commands as you work on email and manage your calendar,” the Mac Office team notes. “When composing a new mail or meeting request, the Touch Bar displays the common formatting options. When viewing your calendar, you can switch between different views. And when viewing the reminders window, you can join an online meeting with one tap on the Touch Bar.”
I can’t test add-ons for Outlook for Mac because I’m traveling and use a PC like a normal person. (Kidding.) But I won’t be able to test Touch Bar support either. Because I will never buy a new MacBook Pro. Like a normal person. 🙂