The route may have been more convoluted than initially anticipated, but Microsoft is finally bringing Outlook to mobile devices.
Initially announced during the company’s recent Windows 10 press conference, Outlook for Windows 10 smartphones will be built natively as part of a transition to universal apps between mobile, tablets and desktop. The company’s associated iOS apps, however, have been built on a completely separate codebase, derived from its recent acquisition of Acompli, which it bought in December for a reported $200 million. Microsoft is doing away with its old Outlook.com app for Android, which had been floundering for some time.
Based on the early nature of Acompli’s Android app (at the time), Outlook for Android is available in preview, while the iOS version is feature-rich and considered stable. Both support Office 365, Exchange, Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail and other IMAP or POP3-related email accounts, and the Acompli feature set, which includes a gesture-based navigation system for email triage and support for OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive for attachments, is all here.
Acompli was one of the first third-party mail clients to support the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus screens, and took advantage of their larger palettes in big ways. Microsoft hasn’t made many changes, from what I can see, but has improved the overall look and feel, especially on Android, which appears to be coming into its own. Outlook also has excellent calendar integration, and the way it treats cloud files, by ordering them from most recently received, is unmatched in the mobile space.