Microsoft has now taken the wraps off of a mountainous update for Outlook including some for the mobile app, reports indicate. The changes primarily center around meetings or video calls. But most will still prove invaluable from a user-perspective. And at least some of the updates announced by the company are already here.
The biggest of the change is arguably a Cortana feature dubbed "Play My Emails" that does what is implied. Namely, it allows users to have their emails read aloud to them when they're too busy to read them. Or at least too busy to read them manually. That's a hands-free feature, so it should prove useful to quite a few users.
Microsoft Outlook on mobile devices will also now let users snooze an email. That'll work exactly as might be expected and is be tucked behind a sidelong swipe on any email message. After snoozing a message, it will crop up again later at a pre-determined date and time. As with other apps, such as Gmail, snoozing lets users come back fresh to emails, complete with a reminder. The snoozed emails reappear at the top of the inbox feed.
Finally, users now have access to a new feature called "Meeting Insights."
That gives Outlook users an easy way to see emails and files that might be pertinent to upcoming meetings. The details in question appear conveniently in the calendar too. So users don't need to go digging through the UI to find them.
Android users aren't getting all of the new features yet
Now, not every new feature announced is arriving on all mobile platforms at the same time. Microsoft is throwing iPhone users a bit extra with this Outlook app update. Specifically, the company has announced that users will be able to create tasks from email messages they've received. Tasks will sync across all iterations of Microsoft 365. Those will also link to the email in Outlook and contain the original email message.
Android users will likely gain access to the feature at some point in the future but won't have it for now.
But there's still great features waiting in the wings for the Microsoft Outlook app
With regard to still-unreleased features, Microsoft says that the Outlook app will soon start showing suggestions to either "Send Availability" or "Schedule Meeting".
That feature will, when it arrives, appear when somebody wants to meet with users. The feature takes a step beyond what some other email providers are delivering. That's because this is part of Microsoft's take on suggested replies. In other communication apps, the replies are typically much more general and users are forced to manually enter their availability or schedule a meeting.