Microsoft on Wednesday finally took off the 'Preview' label from its revamped Outlook.com email website, which it introduced back in May last year. The new website includes loads of features, the highlight of which is the inclusion of the Giphy add-in.
The Redmond-based tech giant adds that new Outlook.com users in the US (North America) region will see the revamped interface right away, while those who already have an account will see the redesigned version soon and won't need to take any action to get the update.
As confirmed by Microsoft in May last year, the new Outlook.com is based on Office 365 infrastructure and includes all the recently added Office 365 features including the ability to automatically add flight confirmations to a user's calendar, a smarter address book, and more.
Those who access Outlook.com from Outlook apps for Windows and OS X will now be able to set automatic replies, toggle flags and sync categories, get access to inbox rules and drafts and more. "Outlook on Windows now supports Outlook.com email aliases, while Outlook for Mac can now sync calendar and contact information," says Javier Soltero, Corporate Vice President for the Outlook team at Microsoft in a company blog post.
With the revamped Outlook.com service, users can now easily collaborate on documents and files. Microsoft has managed to squeeze the multi-step process for editing attachments in an email to just a couple of clicks. On Outlook.com for Web, users can now edit documents (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, photos) side-by-side while simultaneously replying to the original email. In addition, if a new user were added in a mail chain, Outlook would now prompt the ones who added the new member if they want to re-attach the most recent photo/other file to the conversation so the new member does not miss out on anything. Users can also attach files from Dropbox and Box right from their inboxes, along with the option to send files as links.
As for the add-ins, Outlook.com integrates Giphy as its latest add-in partner. Users can use tonnes of gif images from the Giphy library to express their thoughts in the email. Also, they can install the Wunderlist and Yelp add-ins from the Office Store. Some of the other add-ins for the Outlook.com are Uber, PayPal, Evernote, and Boomerang. "All of these add-ins are live in the Office Store and are available to Outlook.com, as well as to Office 365 users using Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016 or Outlook on the web," says Soltero. Based on the feedback from preview users, the company has added their favourite add-ins as add-in commands on top of the screen for quick access. The new add-in commands will be reaching Outlook.com in North America in few weeks followed by other regions.
In the meanwhile, Skype now comes with deeper integration with improved chat, video and audio call functionality to let users call or chat without moving out from the Inbox. The feature to schedule a Skype call right from Outlook.com will be arriving soon. Inline replies and @mentions, which were introduced in October last year, are also a part of the new Outlook.com interface.
Users can simply type '@' and the name to add a person inside an email body in a thread. On typing '@' Outlook would show user's frequent contacts along with an access to the complete directory. On selecting a person, Outlook would add the user in the 'To:' section of the email. Their name would also be highlighted inside the email body. Receivers would be able to sort emails based on the mentions. It works with Calendar as well.
The revamped Outlook.com brings the ability to quickly add emojis in an email. All users need to do is to type a colon followed by the word ":cake" and select the small emoji visual, much like what we do on Slack messaging service. Image editing has also become a tad bit easier. People can simply copy-paste images directly into the email body and access various formatting options directly inside the Inbox.
Lastly, the new interface carries the Pin feature that lets users Pin important emails at the top. Folder specific Pins, search suggestions, and refiners are also available.