Smartphones have become an essential tool of our digital era. Mobile technology has evolved fast, both in terms of hardware and applications. Yet in spite new developments, email has remained an integral form of worldwide communication.

Trying to keep our digital communications organised can quickly make our heads spin. When it comes to email on the go we need an application that’s simple to use but provides nifty features to make life easier.

Enter Microsoft Outlook For Mobile

Microsoft is certainly no stranger to email management, Outlook has been thriving on desktops for years. Their move to the mobile space was only natural and was well received. Their most recent update aims to transform the way manage emails for both iOS and Android systems. Using an innovative framework from Acompli, the new Outlook app is the new redefines mobile email.

So What Makes it So Great?

For a start, Outlook does far more than it says on the tin. Yes, it’s an efficient emailing solution, but also a cloud storage access hub. Once fully set up, all accounts are automatically synchronised right in your hand. Emails are organised with single swipes and new messages composed without mobile compromise. Attaching files from your Cloud storage account is also a seamless experience. Plus it’s packed with a bunch of smart features, many of which you will wonder how you ever lived without!

To top it off it’s a FREE download. You truly have no excuses left for putting up with a clunky default email application.

Getting Setup With Outlook

Setting up the Outlook app on your mobile is quite painless. Follow these three steps and you will be up and running in no time:

  1. First get onto your mobile’s native app store and search for “Outlook”. Download and install the application.
  1. Once launched you will need to log into any current email accounts through the app. Fill in your details for Gmail, iCloud, Exchange, Outlook or Yahoo accounts. When connected and synchronised you will be greeted with your fully populated inbox.
  1. To get your Cloud storage connected you will first need to navigate through the settings menu. You can select Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, Box and Dropbox accounts. Enter your details and log in to complete the connection.

Getting to Grips With the Interface

Outlook’s user interface is slick, providing a streamlined mobile experience. The colour scheme is appealing with bright white and blue highlighting. You will be happy to hear that Microsoft has fully optimised their apps for each operating system. The app uses minimalist interface with headers and icons that mirror the iOS and Android systems.

For the main operations both versions work almost identically. You can toggle between your email accounts by tapping the top left icon in your inbox. You will also find an option for browsing main email folders such as Sent, Outbox, Drafts, Deleted and Junk.

Outlook uses a variety of “tabs” embedded into the interface for intuitive functions. For example, the Focused tab pulls up only your most important emails for quick viewing. This consists of emails labelled high priority or from those contacts you speak to often.

Expert’s Tip: When using the tabs look out for a handy feature called Quick Filter. This icon will be located on the right of the screen. Once selected it will bring up all unread mail, flagged messages and those with attachments.

The Basics: Composing Messages and Sorting Your Mailbox

When it comes to composing and replying, the process is similar to many other mail applications. Yet Outlook shines with their addition of quick fire icons. Their functions include adding attachments, sharing current location and sending calendar events. These icons will populate the bottom right area of the screen when composing a new message.

Expert’s Tip: The calendar event icon boasts more function than you may realise. In one case can use it to send a contact all your available times for scheduling a meeting. In another case, you may create a new appointment with a set time ready for your recipient to accept.

Keeping your mailbox organised can feel clunky on other mobile applications. Outlook tackles this issue with single swipe gesture controls for quick mail sorting. As per default settings, a right swipe will archive your message. Or a left swipe will dismiss a message, to reappear at a later time.

Expert’s Tip: Outlook allows you to customise the swipe actions to suit your own preference. You can remap them to perform other functions such as deletion, moving, flagging or marking as read or unread.

For responding to emails invitations Outlook provides a clever RSVP feature. Any pending invitation emails will be indicated with a special icon. Tapping it allows you to quickly accept, decline or maybe your attendance without any effort.

Bonus Features: Cloud Integration, Inbuilt Calendar and Contacts Import

Outlook blows other email apps out of the water when it comes to cloud integration. Accessing any of your connected storage accounts is as simple as browsing the “Files” tab.

Attaching your cloud files to an email is a breeze. The app provides a great way to access and share files with other, even through to social media.

Expert’s Tip: The Quick Filter tool is of great use again, you can use it when browsing your files. Select it when looking in your cloud storage to highlight recent images, files and documents.

The app even has its own powerful calendar, scheduling can be tied directly into your inbox. It’s simple to use and can be viewed at either monthly or weekly glances. Scheduled appointments are highlighted clearly and assessable with a tap. What’s more, new meetings will be automatically synchronised across your account’s calendar too.

By selecting the “People” tab, you can initiate the import of contacts from your email accounts. Once brought into the app they are ordered by frequency of interaction, your most important contacts are now closest to message.

Final Thoughts

Microsoft truly hit the nail on the head with the newest release of their Outlook application. It’s a strong candidate for a primary email app on either iOS or Android. Those with Cloud storage accounts will receive the greatest benefits from the excellent integration system.

If a single fault had to be found it would have to be with the swiping feature. Although it’s swift other apps such as Apple Mail do allow more functions to be selected, without an increased effort. This minor gripe is not nearly enough to let the whole the app down. For 2015, Outlook is a Highly Recommended email application.