In 2015, I wrote a blog post and had an episode of The Current Status podcast regarding Outlook for iOS and Android (Outlook mobile) and the use of it in the enterprise. The product in its early stages showed promise, but as a Messaging engineer there were questions and concerns, which were discussed in our podcast with MVP Paul Cunningham. Now fast forward to 2018, so much has changed with Outlook mobile that it is no longer the app with much potential, but it is one of the top deployed mobile email clients for use in the enterprise.
Over the last 3 years, the Outlook mobile team has addressed the security concerns and made even more features available. To name a few…
Outlook mobile runs fully in the Microsoft Cloud now. The AWS infrastructure was decommissioned and replaced with service infrastructure running in Azure that accesses the Office 365 mailbox directly. This included having the ability to manage and protect corporate data within Outlook mobile using Azure AD Conditional Access and Intune App Protection Policies within the EMS suite. This was big a step towards enterprise adoption. Messaging engineers can now manage corporate email data on company assets, yet still allow personal devices to access corporate email without compromising security. With on-premises users still waiting, the team announced support for hybrid on-premises deployments of Exchange Server 2013 and 2016 in mid-2018 leveraging hybrid Modern Authentication.
Continuing the trend of enterprise management, at Ignite, the Outlook mobile team announced support for configuration on and for devices that are enrolled via any MDM provider. These features allow admins to push down account profile setup information, simplifying app setup, and restrict Outlook to a single account, respectively. They also announced that in a future release, admins will be able to push down common app configuration settings, like enabling Save Contacts.
The integration of other O365 services has made the mobile app easier to collaborate with coworkers while on the go. Office 365 Groups are now tightly integrated in the app and with a single tap, you can create or join Skype for Business meetings. You can even edit Office attachments in a seamless flow that allows the changes to be sent back to the sender. Outlook mobile also has support for OneDrive for Business, which means you can send or save an attachment to/from your OneDrive for Business account without having to be at your computer.
There is also the improved calendar and calendar sharing. You can share your schedule and manage your entire day, as well as, access any shared or delegate calendars you may have access.
The Microsoft 365 roadmap was recently updated with a listing of all features that are in development through the second quarter of 2019, such as:
- Create and join a Teams meeting in Outlook mobile
- More Office Lens technology coming to Outlook mobile
- Favorite Notifications help you stay connected with the people who are important to you
- Calendar search capabilities
- Support for Microsoft Information Protection sensitive labels
- Support for S/MIME
- Shared mailbox folder access support
- External recipients MailTip
In addition to all the new announcements regarding the roadmap, I had the opportunity to interview Ross Smith IV, Principal Program Manager, on Channel 9 LIVE @ Microsoft Ignite in Orlando where we discussed all things about Outlook mobile. In the interview, Ross discusses how the product has evolved to be the leading enterprise mobile app. You can check out the interview here.
If you want a deeper dive into Outlook Mobile check out these Microsoft Ignite Sessions on demand.