Microsoft has a lot of traction with Outlook for mobile devices, with the app seeing over 100 million active users across iOS and Android.
And now the company is adding a lot of little changes to the iOS app version, hoping to make the experience even better. The latest big update for Outlook on iOS won’t add a ton of new features to the mix, but will instead focus on offering up a significant redesign to the app itself, with many smaller changes littered around to create one new, better experience overall. The Verge has a quick look at what’s coming first.
Those little changes include new animations, like the calendar icon that will animate when you move backwards and forwards. And Outlook for iOS is even adding haptic feedback, so when you interact with an email, like swiping to move it to a new folder, the phone will vibrate to make it feel like you’re actually moving it. And Microsoft is finally adding that very distinct blue banner to the top of the app as well (this was present on the Android version of the app, but strangely missing from iOS):
“The blue was not there [on iOS],” says Miles Fitzgerald, who leads the mobile design for Outlook. “We’re bringing the family together, and we’re proud of our brand.”
Outlook for iOS will now offer a prompt for customizable swipes the first time you use that feature. Outlook is also adding a favorites folder, which should make keeping tabs on the things that matter most even easier. There is a new inline view for your calendar events as you interact with them, making them easier to see while you decide on whether or not to accept or deny an invitation. Avatars are now supported in the app, too, making it even easier to see who sent a message.
“We do a lot of research and understanding if it actually increases positive feelings for the product,” explains Jon Friedman, who leads Microsoft’s design efforts for Office. “What we’ve found is that if people have more positive feelings towards a product, which is different than just how they rationally think about it, there’s a correlation to higher net promoter score, higher retention, and longer life time value of that people using the app.”
But, that’s not all! Outlook for iOS is also getting a dark mode at some point in the future. It won’t be rolling out today, but Microsoft says it’s coming soon. So keep an eye out for that, too.
Microsoft is overhauling quite a bit lately. The company recently shared its brand new app icons for its longstanding Office suite, which appears to be just the tip of the iceberg as Microsoft aims to modernize Windows across platforms.
The new Outlook for iOS will be rolling out today. A link to download and install the app from the App Store is available below if you don’t already have it. It’s free.
- Outlook — Free