Microsoft has unveiled a new app for its Outlook email service, which adds multitasking options and a slick interface.
The apps can also be used with email services not run by Microsoft, such as Gmail and Yahoo.
The new release is mostly a new version of Acompli, an email app that was bought by Microsoft last year.
The app aims to set it apart from the two platforms’ built in email clients by offering extra multitasking features, so that users can look at calendars at the same time as email, for example.
“Despite the smartphone becoming a primary screen for reading email, most of us perform only basic email triage on the phone, delaying the rest to deal with on the computer,” Microsoft said, in a blog post announcing the new app. The new app allows for emails, calendars, contacts and files to be used at the same time, the company said.
It is available now for iOS and Android. The Android version is still referred to as a “preview”, since the iOS version is ahead in terms of features and performance, Microsoft said.
The company has also introduced new features for dealing with large amounts of emails in one go. It has two inboxes — “Focused” and “Other” — which mean that emails that the system judges not to be important can be filtered out, as with Google’s priority inbox feature.
It also allows users to quickly unsubscribe from email lists, and delete or postpone messages from within the menu. The app also introduces new tools for searching through emails.
The multitasking features mean that calendars can be accessed at the same time as emails. That means, for instance, that when scheduling a meeting users can view their availability, and send that information over to people they are talking to.
Attachments are also simplified, using Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage system as well as competitors like Dropbox to put attachments straight into emails.Reuse content