Microsoft is introducing a series of new features for its Outlook desktop application, Outlook for iOS / Android mobile applications and the company's Outlook.com webmail service this week. New Outlook features that are available now or are coming soon are being detailed by Microsoft less than a week after Google began implementing a new Gmail redesign. The new Gmail features of Google are mainly aimed at business customers, in an attempt to get more business using G Suite. Microsoft's new Outlook features are also primarily aimed at business customers, an area in which Microsoft's traditional Outlook desktop applications for Windows and macOS specialize.
Microsoft is adding bill payment reminders to Outlook.com, which will appear as calendar items if Outlook. com identifies an invoice received in an email. The reminders are similar to how the travel booking or package delivery tracking works in Outlook.com, and the due date of the invoice will be automatically added to the calendar event. Outlook.com will also send an email two days before the due date.
Outlook for Windows is also receiving some new calendar features that are more business oriented. Outlook will now offer suggestions for meeting locations in calendar entries and automatically populate them with Bing information. Outlook for iOS is also receiving similar location support, along with the option to reserve meeting room availability from your mobile device.
Microsoft is also improving RSVP and keeping track of meeting attendees in the Outlook calendar. You will soon see the responses to the meetings, even if you did not organize them, so you can see if your boss will attend the meeting and if you really need to go. The Outlook calendar on Windows and Mac is also getting better time zone support. Now you can set up a travel calendar entry in one time zone that ends in another, which is particularly useful if you are looking for flight information. Outlook for Windows now supports viewing three time zones, and Outlook for Mac will also allow you to view an additional time zone.
Microsoft adds better compatibility for emails in which it is copied blindly. If you are going to reply to an email where you were in the BCC field, Outlook for Windows will now alert you that it was copied blindly, so you will avoid a potentially embarrassing email scenario. Outlook for iOS and Android will also soon receive a number of new features.
Outlook for iOS will soon support the synchronization of draft e-mails, making it easier to compose an email on your phone and finalize it on your PC. Preliminary synchronization is available in Outlook for Android, Mac and Windows, and this month it comes to Outlook for iOS.
Microsoft is also integrating its Office Lens technology in Outlook for Android. Office Lens allows you to capture information from a whiteboard, or take photos of a document and have it cut out automatically so that it looks like it was scanned in a professional scanner. This will be integrated into Outlook for Android, but there are still no words about support for Outlook for iOS. On the other hand, Outlook for Android is finally receiving quick responses at the bottom of messages. This is already available for the iOS version, and is an easier way to respond to an email at the bottom of a message and still see the email you are responding to.
Outlook for iOS and Android are receiving support for favorite contacts in June. You can label people as favorites, and this will persist in the web and mobile versions of Outlook. Outlook for Android is also receiving support for blocking external content in emails, and the iOS version will include support for Office 365 Groups in June.