Microsoft Office just added a very important missing piece for tons of mobile users: Outlook. The popular email program wasn't available for Android and iOS when Microsoft launched Office for those mobile operating systems last year, but that's changing.
Outlook for Android is already available for free in the Google Play Store, and the Apple iOS version should be ready soon.
Instead of designing the Android and iOS versions of Outlook itself, Microsoft based them off of an app called Accompli that it bought at the end of last year. Outlook general manager Javier Soltero was Acompli's cofounder and CEO.
These new Outlook apps are great news for people who use Microsoft Exchange for email, because it will make it easy to access all of your message on your Android and Apple gadgets. But, they're not the only ones who can use Outlook. The apps also support other popular email services like Gmail and Yahoo Mail.
The Outlook apps will include the same basic email and calendar services that users are used to. But, they won't look identical to the computer version of the program.
Rather than trying too hard to mimic Outlook in its venerable desktop form, the company focused on features tailored to mobile devices, including seamless searching of messages stored on the server and the ability to pull in information from other apps without doing too much hopping around. As with the other mobile version of Office, the goal is to make the free versions useful while also giving Office 365 customers some additional power tools.
Microsoft is confident that the Outlook app will appeal to a wide range of people, from business people with thousands of emails to your average micro everyday user.