Here's what you're getting in the new Outlook for iOS, Android

When people think of email on mobile devices, they usually default to Gmail or Apple Mail, though some have found their own special email havens in other apps. Microsoft, once the king of productivity apps like email, barely leaves a mark in this space. It is, however, trying to make up for lost time and lost customers with its Outlook app for iOS and Android, as shown by this latest update that brings it up to snuff in the latest emailing conventions.

Email has traditionally been seen as a threaded conversation, resembling more a tree of growing branches and topics than a single flowing stream. But thanks to Gmail, email as a conversation, not unlike that of instant messaging, has become more popular. Much to the chagrin of email veterans.

Outlook on mobile is adopting that conversation style as well. Tapping on a conversation in your inbox will immediately scroll you down to the latest unread entries. The default method of replying, which you do by simply tapping the quick reply box, is to send your reply to all participants in the conversation. You can, of course, still cherry pick the people you do want to reply to, but this time you have to actually remove those that you don't want from the list.

Email clients these days are also more of a multi-account affair. Even Gmail has support for more than just Gmail accounts. Outlook does too, but switching between those hasn't exactly been fluid. Microsoft has now redesigned the navigation panel to make jumping between those accounts a lot faster. Plus, it now also has a special spot for important folders like Inbox and Drafts.

One new feature that has yet to roll out is improved search capabilities. Powered by Microsoft's knowledge graph, aptly named Microsoft Graph, search in Outlook will surface not just emails but also relevant information like flight details, package trackers, people, and files. And to keep all that from cluttering your actual email view, Outlook reserves a special Search page for it.

These new features, save for intelligent search, are rolling out now to Outlook for iOS and works with Gmail and accounts. Android users, as well as those with Office 365 accounts, will have to wait a wee bit longer.

SOURCE: Microsoft