Microsoft announced a series of new Outlook updates across desktop, mobile and web for 2018. Some of the features highlight Outlook’s usefulness like new meeting room suggestion capabilities and RSVP tracking. But others updates, particularly on mobile, are more innovative such as Quick Reply which turns email replies into chats, or Office Lens which enhances attached photos.
Outlook Updates Lens
Office Lens was already available in a standalone mobile app that does things like straighten out photos of paper documents, whiteboards and business cards. But this sort of image correction technology has made its way to other apps, as well like Microsoft Pix’s camera app, which now lets you scan business cards to find people on LinkedIn.
Office Lens can automatically trim and enhance a photo of a whiteboard, document or photo, then embed it in your message. The feature is arriving first to Android later this month.
Outlook Updates Quick Reply
Quick Reply, meanwhile, keeps your message in view, but then adds a new reply box at the bottom of the screen. This makes the reply experience feel more like using a chat app. This is also hitting Android this month, and will come to Mac this summer. It’s already live on iOS.
The mobile version of Outlook will also gain a way to flag key contacts (iOS and Android in June); sync draft folders across desktop and mobile (iOS in May. Already live on Windows, Mac and Android); view Office 365 Groups’ events in Outlook and OneNote (Outlook for iOS in June); block email tracking like those from marketers (Android in May): and new features for enterprise customers to protect sensitive data.
Outlook Mail adds a few tweaks like BCC warnings when you’re the blind copy, proxy support, and the ability to view organization information if you’re connected to Azure Active Directory.
Outlook Updates Calendar
Microsoft is adding bill pay reminders to Outlook.com, that will appear as calendar items if Outlook.com identifies a bill received in an email. The reminders are similar to how travel reservations or package delivery tracking works in Outlook.com, and the due date for the bill will be automatically added to the calendar event. Outlook.com will also send an email two days before the bill is due.
Outlook for Windows is also getting some new calendar features that are more targeted towards businesses. Outlook will now offer suggestions for meeting locations in calendar entries, and automatically populate them with information from Bing. Outlook for iOS is also getting similar location support, alongside the option to book meeting room availability from your mobile device.