Microsoft has enthusiastically extended availability of many of its apps to multiple platforms in recent years, including for its popular Outlook.com email service. In January, the company rolled out a new version of Outlook to iOS and Android, based on software acquired as part of its $200m purchase of Acompli.
Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has no interest in maintaining two quite different versions of the same app indefinitely, and it has begun emailing its customers to inform them of upcoming changes that may affect them. From July 31st, the company will terminate support for the older Outlook.com Android app - but that move will leave some Android users with no Outlook app at all.
The newer 'Outlook for Android' app only supports devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later, which means that those on older versions of the OS will no longer have access to an Outlook app. If your device is running one of these older Android versions, Microsoft says:
You can continue to receive your email on your device’s browser by navigating to www.outlook.com. You can also add your @outlook.com address to your device’s pre-installed email app.
This may sound a little unsatisfactory for those stuck with older devices, but the proportion of users who will have to resort to those workarounds is relatively small. According to Google's most recent official figures, less than 6% of Android users run versions earlier than 4.0 - although it's worth bearing in mind that that still adds up to tens of millions of users.
For those running Android 4.0 or later, Microsoft advises that you ditch the soon-to-be-obsolete Outlook.com app if it's still installed on your device, and download the latest version of Outlook for Android from Google Play.