This year's Ignite conference has seen a wide range of announcements coming from Microsoft, be it for businesses or developers. Among the news for day two of the event, upcoming improvements to the Outlook apps for mobile devices have also been announced. These additions are mainly aimed at enterprise customers.
First off, you'll soon be able to easily add labels to e-mails sent within your organization. These can be set up by the company's IT administrators, who can create custom labels to indicate if the contents of the e-mail are confidential and make it so that the message is encrypted, for example. Users can then apply that label to an e-mail, making it so that only the desired contacts can access the decrypted message.
Microsoft is introducing new options for deploying the apps as well, starting with giving administrators the ability to restrict users from adding personal e-mail or OneDrive accounts in Outlook on company devices. This capability has already begun rolling out to customers, but there are some others coming in the future.
In order to simplify the setup process and provide a more consistent experience for everyone in the organization, administrators will soon be able to push specific settings configurations for the Outlook apps, such as enabling or disabling contact syncing, using biometric authentication, and more. It will also be possible to use specific configurations for setting up accounts that support modern authentication so that users can get started more quickly and easily. To manage and push these settings to company members, administrators will be able to use a new interface in Microsoft Intune which will enable all of these capabilities as they roll out.
In addition to deployment improvements, Microsoft is bringing an array of enhancements for end users of the apps. For starters, you'll soon be able to join Teams meetings from within the Outlook app with a new integration that's planned for early next year.
Additionally, it will be possible to use the power of Office Lens to easily add contact details to your Outlook account. To do so, users simply have to take a picture of a business card and the contact details will automatically be saved to Outlook. Notification improvements are also in tow, with the upcoming ability to set notifications to only come in from favorite contacts, so you can prioritize the most important people in your life. Both of these features will be rolling out in the coming months.
Lastly, there are a few improvements coming to Outlook calendar in the mobile apps as well, such as the ability to add shared calendars. This can be useful in order to let you see a coworker's calendar or serve as a way to check the availability of a meeting room which can have its own calendar that can be accessed by different people. This feature is currently rolling out to commercial customers. In the coming months, events from your calendars in Outlook will also start showing up in the app's search feature, making search the unified location for easily finding whatever you may be looking for.
Some of these features seem like they would be equally useful to the general public, so it's possible that they will be made available to everyone when they roll out. Microsoft also recently announced a host of improvements to Outlook on the web and desktop devices.