Outlook Web App Improves with New Features

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This week the Outlook team announced updates coming to the Outlook Web App in Office 365 (referred to in their post, and going forward, as “Outlook on the web”).

These features are coming to any Office 365 plan that includes Exchange Online. First Release customers should be seeing these changes now (admins, here’s how to turn on First Release) while others will begin seeing the updates in September.

Here’s what’s new:

Simpler, cleaner, more efficient user interface

Outlook on the web received UI updates that should help users work more efficiently. The email subject line has become larger, Calendar buttons are more prominent, and email messages in the reading pane are indented for ease of reading.

New inbox features to help with organization

These new inbox features will be welcome to those who need a little help with email organization (which, let’s face it, is probably all of us!).

  • Pin: any message can be pinned to the top of the inbox, where it will stay, highlighted in yellow.
  • Sweep: simple actions you can apply to emails from specific senders, i.e. only keeping the latest message, deleting all from a specific sender, or only keeping messages for a specific number of days. This will be great for coupons, newsletters, and so on.
  • Archive: one-click archiving so you can move emails into an archive folder quickly without deleting.
  • Undo: a dedicated button for undoing unintended actions with one click.
  • Single line view w/ immersive reading pane: ability to choose a single line message view rather than the reading pane, and when you click on a message, it will display in the same pane rather than a separate window.

Image editing plus emojis

Outlook on the web now includes image editing tools to let you resize, add borders, apply effects, rotate, and so on. The team has also added a full set of emojis!

Calendar management improvements

The Outlook calendar includes a few new features:

  • “Charms,” which are icons you can apply to appointments as “visual cues to help you quickly identify specific types of events,” like an airplane charm for upcoming travel plans.
  • Customizable email reminders, so you can keep meeting/appointment attendees updated. You can specify a recipient list, message, and date and time for the reminder to be sent.
  • Separate birthday and holiday calendars that can be viewed separately or overlaid across your primary calendar.
  • Five-day weather forecast with icons to give you quick insight into how you need to prepare for the weather of the day.

Mobile experience updates

When you need to use Outlook without installing a dedicated mobile app, you can sign in to outlook.office365.com from the browser. The team has enhanced this mobile browser experience, with UI updates to more closely resemble the look of Outlook apps for a more consistent experience, improved navigation between emails and views, and the ability to see a full week on the calendar.

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