Microsoft Releases Outlook for Android and iOS

Posted on January 29, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Office with 0 Comments

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When Microsoft purchased Acompli in December 2014, I knew the software giant had made a great choice: this stunning mobile app faithfully replicated the Microsoft Outlook experience on iPhone, iPad, and Android handsets and tablets. But now the transformation is official: Microsoft is rebranding Acompli as Outlook on those platforms, where it will eventually replace its other email clients. And this product’s team and code base will also be integral to bringing modern Outlook versions to other platforms in the future, including Windows.

Outlook for iPhone

Outlook for iPhone

This is great news, folks, as Acompli is amazing. It was already basically Outlook, but for Android and iOS. It works with multiple services, including online accounts like Exchange (including Office 365 for business), Outlook.com , Google, and Yahoo!, but also cloud storage accounts like OneDrive, iCloud, Dropbox and Box. It provides email, calendar, contacts and cloud storage management. It works with multiple accounts, all in one place. And it provides email filtering (just like Outlook.com) so that real email is separated from mailing lists and other non-essential email.

Outlook Preview for Android phones

Outlook Preview for Android phones

And now Acompli is … Outlook. You can download this new Outlook app for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store. And you can grab a preview version of Microsoft Outlook for Android handsets and tablets from the Google Play Store.

The apps are both free to consumers, though business users will be held to the commercial licensing terms of Office 365, Microsoft told me. If you use an iPhone, iPad, or Android device and work and play primarily in Microsoft’s software and content ecosystems, I strongly recommend checking out these apps, which again provide the Outlook experience you expect but tailored for those platforms.

Outlook for iPad

Outlook for iPad

Plus doing so will give you a leg up on the future.

Intriguingly, Microsoft admitted to me that the Acompli team had been integrated into the Outlook team and tasked with bringing Outlook into the 21st century across “end points,” which of course means mobile clients but also, I think the web and even “big” Windows.

This means a few things.

Outlook Preview for Android tablets

Outlook Preview for Android tablets

First, this new Outlook (formerly Acompli) client will eventually replace other similar Microsoft mobile clients on Android and iOS, including Outlook.com and OWA. Doing so will simply require that Outlook pick up some functionality that is currently exclusively available in those other apps, like document rights management capabilities.

Second, this new integrated Outlook team is also tasked with creating the new “touch first” Outlook client that will be part of the Office apps for Windows 10 (i.e. “Office Touch for Windows’), so it’s fair to say that as these apps all evolve they will also converge from a functionality perspective. That is, if you look at these new Outlook clients for Android and iOS today, what you are seeing is the future of Outlook on Windows (at least on Windows touch devices).

This is exciting stuff.