Microsoft is updating its Outlook mail app for Mac users with many features that would make Google account users happy. It is bringing support for Google Calendar and Google Contacts to encourage more Gmail users to use the mail client. This update is only available to Mac users on the Office Insider Fast Community for now, but should roll out to all users in the future after sufficient testing.
This support acts as a boost to allow Gmail users seamlessly transition to Outlook, and expand its user base. Outlook has supported Google accounts for a very long time, and now it looks to provide more tools to enhance the experience. "With these updates, Outlook will now also sync your Google calendars and contacts. The experience will be very similar to what you are familiar with in Outlook today, with support for all the core actions-such as add, delete, edit time and location. All changes will update back and forth with Gmail or Outlook for iOS and Android, so everything is in sync across all your devices," Microsoft Office's team writes on its blog.
Furthermore, the update also brings features like Focused Inbox and the new summary card format for package delivery or ticket reservations. Focused Inbox dissects your email into two folders - Focused and Inbox. The Focused section will house all the important mails, while the Others section will house all the not-so-important mails like newsletters, brand discount announcements etc. This is similar to Gmail's methods of segregation into Primary, Social, and Promotions sections in its mail service.
Microsoft did allow tracking of package delivery or ticket reservations, but with this update it will show them in a simplified summary cards format in your inbox and calendar enabling you to quickly access travel reservations and package delivery details, check for flights or change hotels and rental car reservations; and even sends reminders of these events on the Outlook for Mac. This feature is on by default, but you can configure it from 'events in email' settings in your account on the web.
As mentioned, these features are currently being tested, and if you can't wait to try them out, become an Insider member by following these steps. Microsoft also notes that not all Google accounts will be able to see these features even in beta mode.