Windows 10’s Mail App Tests New Inking Features

Posted on June 26, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Outlook.com, Windows 10 with 9 Comments

Microsoft is testing a major new feature for the Outlook Mail app in Windows 10. The company has been pushing inking throughout the OS for years, and the latest update brings the exact same inking features to the default Mail app in the OS.

With the new Draw tab in the Outlook Mail app, Windows Insiders can write emails with their stylus, and attach it as a picture to their email. It’s a pretty neat way of typing emails for those who prefer writing with a stylus instead of typing with the keyboard. Like the general inking features in Windows 10, the Mail app’s inking feature gives you access to different pens, pencils, hand-drawing abilities, different colours, etc.

While this may not sound like a big deal, it could be part of a bigger push from Microsoft to optimize the OS for dual-screen devices. As The Verge notes, Microsoft is getting ready to launch its dual-screen Andromeda device soon, and other device makers are also expected to introduce dual-screen devices with the help of Intel. I am told Andromeda will heavily focus on inking and the stylus, so features like the new inking abilities in the Mail app could be the building blocks for the software experience on the device. Microsoft is radically adapting Windows 10 for Andromeda and possibly the other dual-screen devices, and things like this will play a crucial role at bringing the hardware and software together.

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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Windows 10’s Mail App Tests New Inking Features”

  1. SherlockHolmes

    It would be more important that you could change the default font permanently. I dont understand why thats so hard to do . Who needs an Ink features in a Mail App?

    • TheJoeFin

      In reply to SherlockHolmes:

      Microsoft needs to get their UWP Office apps standardized. It is so strange how they each has different UX and features and behavior. For example in OneNote you can set the default font family and font size, but you cannot crop images. It is so strange.

      • will

        In reply to TheJoeFin:

        THIS! I 100% agree that Microsoft needs to have a common UI and function set for their own apps. Right now it feels like, and it actually is, just a grab bag of functions that someone building an app can pick and choose how and where they get used.


        That and the whole Outlook Mail and Calendar naming is just bad. Call it Windows Mail and Calendar and drop the Outlook name/icon.


        If Microsoft would spend any amount of time on the details of uniformity and at least put SOME effort into a unified strategy they would see more people flocking to them. Apple has done this with Mojave with a good looking, unified dark theme. Microsoft would do well to follow this. Not just a better system dark theme, but a unified plan and not just a collection of apps/programs with a pretty desktop.

        • TheJoeFin

          In reply to will:

          The Outlook brand is strange because these apps are clearly not branded like Outlook 2016 or OWA, which makes the name a bad fit. They should either be Windows Mail and Calendar and match the branding of the other built-in apps, or actually embrace the Outlook brand and become unified with the other Office UWP apps.

    • AnOldAmigaUser

      In reply to SherlockHolmes:

      I think this would be a natural for mobile devices. Ink and pen translates well to that size, whereas phone and tablet keyboards are OK at best.

      Agree that it would not be of much use on a laptop or desktop, and it does not in any way excuse Microsoft from not allowing one to change the default font in Mail or any app.


    • karlinhigh

      In reply to SherlockHolmes:


      Email has a start-date of what, 1979 somewhere? At what point should software makers consider this a mature technology and quit violating their users' expectations about how it should work?

  2. TheJoeFin

    As the developer of Ink Calendar I'm nervous to see if/how Microsoft adds inking to the built-in calendar app.

  3. kingbuzzo

    An SCTV sketch from the late 1970s featured John Candy's character Johnny LaRue being served Thunderbird in a French restaurant when he is unable to afford the more expensive French wines on the menu.

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