Microsoft today announced a major update to the Mail and Calendar apps for Windows 10, which will bring a number of new features. They should be available over the next few weeks.
One major feature that has been highly anticipated among users of the iOS and Android Outlook apps is Focused Inbox. This feature will separate your mail into two different categories: Focused and Other. It's meant to put your most important emails right in front of you, and then you'll find things like mailing lists in the Other folder.
Microsoft first confirmed that the feature is coming to Windows 10 back in September, at its Ignite 2016 conference. Since then, it's emerged that the company has been internally testing the feature.
You can also add Mentions, a feature that already exists in other versions of the app, such as Outlook 2016. Adding the @ symbol will bring up your most frequent contacts and give you access to the directory. It's similar to how it works on Facebook and Twitter.
Once added, the person will be "asked to take action in your message", and if the tagged person isn't part of the conversation yet, they'll be added to it.
On the Calendar end of things, you can now organize your events with different colors. Microsoft says that this has been a top-requested feature, and it's no wonder, considering how many other apps and services already have it.
Interesting Calendars looks like it could be a useful feature for those that use Outlook for Windows 10. It's powered by Bing, and it will allow you to keep track of TV show schedules and sports teams. This could be good for cordcutters, who might need a reminder when certain shows are on.
New summary cards will allow you to keep track of flight reservations and package delivery details. It will be similar to the way that services such as Cortana and Google Now already do it, but it will be within the Calendar app. If having Outlook scan your email for such things is too intrusive for you, you can always just turn the feature off.
Microsoft also wants to allow you to "do more with calendar invites". As the company says, "Now you’ll see location suggestions from Bing so you can add popular addresses quicker, an option to add Skype for online meetings, a scheduling assistant for Office 365 accounts, a fun emoji picker, and a people picker to help you quickly browse and select contacts, when you create a calendar appointment."
As mentioned above, all of these features should be rolling out in the coming weeks, initially for Outlook.com and Office 365 accounts, although Microsoft says that it's working hard to bring these services to other providers. While it doesn't explicitly say so, the update should be coming to Windows 10 Mobile as well, as these are UWP apps.