As much as Apple users would sometimes love to forget that there’s a company called Microsoft out there, the company’s Microsoft Office suite has been the go-to productivity software in businesses for a long time. When Office made the jump to iOS last year as a free suite (with other services as in-app purchases), the Outlook app for email, address book, and calendars seemed a bit on the weak side. Today Microsoft issued a significant update to Outlook for iOS to make it much more useful in the enterprise.
Probably the biggest change is to the “People” address book. Previously, the list was fairly limited; now it provides users with unified card entries across all connected accounts. Action buttons at the bottom of the display allow users to send send an email to a contact, call the contact, view previous conversation, and view shared files. For users connected to an organizational directory and a Global Address List, Outlook finally provides that integration. It’s easy to search for contacts using the search bar and selecting “Search Directory.”
The Outlook calendar now includes a three-day view when the app is used in landscape mode, support for zero-length meetings, a way to remove cancelled meetings from the calendar, and an improved calendar day picker.
Other improvements include a “select all” feature to perform bulk operations on messages in a folder, undo of those bulk actions, the ability to permanently delete items from the deleted items folder, localization improvements over the 30 supported languages, and improvements in accessibility on the message list and compose screen.
Microsoft noted that more features are planned for the coming weeks and months to introduce security and management features.