Outlook on mobile is now 2 years old, add-ins added

Microsoft Outlook is popular (or notorious) among desktop users back when Personal Information Management suites, or PIM for short, were the hottest thing in software. That shifted a bit during the mobile revolution but now Microsoft is trying to make up for lost time. While still just a fraction of its full self, Outlook mobile is gaining what Microsoft calls add-ins that turn Outlook on your smartphone or tablet into more than just an e-mail app. And just in time, too, for the app's second year on mobile.

Outlook has never been just an e-mail program on the desktop. As a PIM software, it combine e-mail, calendar, address book, and more, with "more" being the additional functionality you can get through plugins. While it has never been trendy on mobile to have such all-in-one apps, mobile apps of late have gotten more and more capable in hooking into external services and functionality.

That is practically what Outlook add-ins offer. Already available on Windows and Macs, add-ins integrate functionality from approved service providers so that you won't have to leave Outlook just to do some one-off tasks. For example, if you receive an e-mail related to a project in progress, you can simply choose an add-in to transform the e-mail into a Trello card or save it in Evernote. Microsoft calls it turning your "inbox" into a "do-box".

Outlook add-ins don't just work with any service, mind you. The initial list of add-ins only include Evernote, GIPHY, Nimble, Trello, and Smartsheet, as well as some from Microsoft's side like Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Translator. Of course, the door is wide open for other app developers to join the party, though they will have to go through the Microsoft bouncer first.

Outlook add-ins are now available, unsurprisingly on iOS first. Support for Android is promised to come soon, though Microsoft hasn't given an estimate as to when.

SOURCE: Microsoft