Microsoft recently released a new email app and it is more modern and in some ways has superior features to the old app. You should switch from the old Outlook.com to the new Outlook. It is a bit confusing having two apps with almost the same name that access the same email account, but there is really no need to keep the old app and it can be uninstalled.
Here is the old Outlook.com email app from Microsoft. The interface is old fashioned and clunky, with tick boxes for selecting emails, and buttons and menus for performing various actions.
There are Android and iOS versions and this is running on Android:
It works, but it is old fashioned and rival apps like Google’s new Inbox and Dropbox’s Mailbox offer interesting new email management and organisational features that some people prefer.
The new Outlook is actually an app from Acompli, which has been rebranded as Outlook. When you first run the new Outlook, you can actually add a variety of popular accounts, including Exchange, Outlook.com, Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo! and other IMAP email accounts.
The app has a modern interface design that looks a lot cleaner, simpler and easier to read than the old version. There are two views called Focused and Other. Focused contains emails the app considers to be important and Other contains everything else. This automatic organisation of incoming messages works well and I prefer it to Google Inbox, which seems over complicated and sometimes frustrating to use.
A modern trend is for simple email management through swipes and swiping an email half way across the screen reveals an Archive option that moves the message to an archived email folder, which if you don’t already have, can be created. I called it Archive for obvious reasons. Swiping an email a bit further across the screen reveals a delete option. You can therefore deal with many messages with a few swipes.
A Quick Filters button enables you to view unread or flagged emails and those with file attachments. I found it a bit awkward returning to normal view because of the small size of the button and my fat fingers. Swiping emails has to be done carefully too or you might delete one when you meant to archive it. It isn’t lost though and an Undo button appears at the bottom of the screen for a few seconds afterwards. All your Outlook.com folders can be accessed from the app, including Trash, Sent, Drafts and so on.
When creating an email, your OneDrive online storage can be browsed and files selected and attached.
In addition to email, Outlook can access your calendar too. There are agenda and day views, and the display is clean, simple and easy to use. Calendar events can be created, people invited and so on. All the features of Calendar on the website are there. You can also browse your contacts from within the app and when creating an email, contacts are suggested so you can tap them instead of typing in their full email address.
The new Outlook is preferred to the old one and the new design and easy management features are useful. I tried the new Inbox, but switched back to the old Gmail. After trying the new Outlook though, it was the old app that I deleted. This is a good upgrade.
Note: The screen shots above are for the Android version. The iOS version is very similar, but there are some minor interface differences due to the different ways Android and iOS work.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Created: 04 February 2015