Outlook comes to iOS and Android, and Office for Android leaves preview

Rebecca Lambert
Rebecca Lambert
By Rebecca Lambert on 30 January 2015
Outlook comes to iOS and Android, and Office for Android leaves preview

Microsoft is making good on its promise to release fully supported versions of Office for all major mobile platforms by bringing its Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for Android tablets out of preview, and introducing a new Outlook app for iOS and Android.

Customers can get their hands on the new, free Office apps for Android by downloading them from the Google Play store. The apps, which were first released in beta back in November 2014, look and function in a very similar manner to the iOS Office apps, which were released last year.

Like the iPad and iPhone versions, the Android tablet apps are available for free, and can be used to create and edit files.

To access premium features in the apps – such as advanced editing capabilities – users simply need to login to their Office 365 account (if they already have one) or sign up for a subscription.

Microsoft has also released a new Outlook app for iOS and a preview version for Android, replacing the Outlook Web App, which has been the go-to mobile e-mail service for Office 365 users.

The new Outlook on iOS and Android is based on the same code as Acompli, which Microsoft acquired at the end of last year. This means that if you’re already an Acompli app user, you will find the new mobile Outlook experience very familiar – down to its swipe-based actions and in-built calendar.

Not only does the Outlook app support Office 365, Exchange and Outlook.com, but it also works with Yahoo! Mail, Gmail and other major email services too.

Key features in the new app include an option to sort your mail into two tabs – Focused and Other. Important e-mails can be moved to the Focused inbox, while the rest remain accessible, but out of the way. Over time, Outlook will learn what e-mails are important and will sort them automatically.

Users can also swipe right or left to take actions like archive, delete, move, flag, mark as read/unread or schedule. And, unlike other e-mail apps, these gestures can be personalised to suit individual preferences.

“We’ve developed apps that put your mobile e-mail in focus, integrate with your calendar and make attachments much easier to use on the go,” said former CEO of Acompli and new Outlook general manager Javier Soltero. “Joining forces with Microsoft also gives us the ability to reach over a billion Office users and do much more with the technology, with tighter integration with Office and Outlook, the most popular desktop e-mail app on the planet.”

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