After purchasing the companies behind mail app Acompli and calendar app Sunrise in the past year, Microsoft is now merging the two to create a unified Outlook app on Android and iOS, showcasing the best of both former companies.
While the former Acompli team created new Outlook apps for Android and iOS earlier this year, the Sunrise team is now working within the same group to improve the Outlook mobile apps. A new Outlook app for iOS with an improved design and calendar is the first demonstration of their newly joined effort, with an updated Android app scheduled for release in November and a new Windows app to follow. In a post on the Office Blogs website, Javier Soltero, former Acompli CEO and current corporate vice president of Outlook at Microsoft, detailed the overhauled designs that emphasize improved visual flourishes as well as more emphasis on calendar items.
New event icons now exist in the main inbox, for instance, allowing users to see details and RSVP without having to enter the invitation email. Similarly, improved flag and attachment icons help users more easily see important information about messages before opening them, and the calendar icon at the bottom of the screen will now show the current date.
Calendar-specific improvements include graying out previous days to make the current date more obvious, with event details for individual entries now grouping core information at the top – including date, duration and location – with event attendees listed below with green, gray and red circles indicating their responses to the event invitation.
While the Outlook app on iOS has received notable design improvements, the mail app's Android version is getting an entirely overhauled look to make use of Google's Material Design language. The update puts it in line with Microsoft's Office apps for Windows and iOS platforms, as the new Android app now blends in better with the operating system's style.
Outlook's new Android app will be available in early November, though a specific date wasn't revealed. Soltero also didn't provide a timetable for its updated Windows app's release, beyond saying that the new version is "coming soon."
Source: Office Blogs
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