Microsoft delivers native Outlook Web App clients for iPhone, iPad

Microsoft delivers native Outlook Web App clients for iPhone, iPad

Summary: New, free Microsoft Outlook Web App clients for iPhone and iPad are available in the Apple App Store, but require an Office 365 subscription for use.


Microsoft has built native Outlook Web App clients for Apple's iPhone and iPad, both of which can be installed directly from the Apple App Store as of July 16.


The catch: Users need an Office 365 subscription that includes Exchange Online to make use of the new, free apps.

Outlook Web App (OWA) is a client with that provides email, calendar and contact functionality. It works the same way that Outlook Web App in the browser does. However, according to a new Office 365 Technology blog post from Microsoft, the native versions provide "additional capabilities that are only possible through native integration of the app with mobile devices."

From today's blog post:

"Windows Phone 8 comes with a top-notch native email client in Outlook Mobile, and we offer Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), which is the de-facto industry standard for accessing Exchange email on mobile devices. In order to better support many of our customers who use their iPhones and iPads for work, we are introducing OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad, which bring a native Outlook Web App experience to iOS devices!"

The Outlook Web App for iPhone is available for download here. The iPad version is here.

The Office 365 plans which support Outlook Web App include: Office 365 Small Business; Office 365 Small Business Premium; Office 365 Midsize Business; Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3 and E4; Office 365 Kiosk K1 and K2; Office 365 Education A2, A3 and A4; and any Exchange Online plan. There are also Office 365 government plans that include OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad. Users must be running iPhone 4S or higher or an iPad 2 or higher (both of which are running iOS 6 or higher) to use the new apps. The OWA apps are available in the same 60 languages supported by Exchange Online for Outlook Web App in the browser, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft introduced last month an Office Mobile for iPhone suite, which also requires an Office 365 subscription.

Update: A couple more related questions answered by a company spokesperson:

Q: When will on-premises be supported? Will there be an Outlook Web App that will run without the O365 requirement at some point?

A: Like Outlook Web App on the browser, OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad have been developed for Exchange, and we’re leading with the cloud.

Q: So.... will there be support for Exchange on-premises coming?

A: Yes. See the information highlighted in yellow in this Exchange blog post, noting OWA for iPhone and iPad also will be available (but no date) for Exchange Server 2013.

Q: When will there be Android and Windows Store/modern version of OWA (for Windows RT and Windows 8)?

A: We have not announced plans to deliver OWA for Android or Windows. However, we already offer Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), which is the de-facto industry standard for accessing Exchange email on mobile devices and Windows Phone 8 comes with Outlook Mobile.

(Thanks to Windows SuperSite's Paul Thurrott for the tip-off about the OWA client availability.)

Topics: Cloud, Apple, Collaboration, iPhone, iPad, Microsoft, Unified Comms


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Interesting.

    It looks like Microsoft learned an important lesson from their Facebook associates. The original Facebook web app ended up being woefully slow and inefficient, so they built a native app that connected to all the existing Facebook web services gaining performance and access (within the limitations of the iOS public APIs) to other iOS functionality (i.e. camera, contacts, notifications, credential storage, etc). OWA is clearly doing the same thing, and looks like they may have a powerful alternative to the built-in, albeit only for Office 365 subscribers.
  • Great to see Further Cross Platform Compliance

    The times they are a changing. Lets see if it makes its way to Android.
    • I hope they don't

      Google being such a pain in the rear about their apps on WP8. Google is the new evil empire.
      • Google

        Google is now worse than Microsoft ever was. In fact they are more dangerous than MS was simply because the controls the most common portal of the web: KeyWord Search and relevancy of search results. They can build and destroy company on that matter. They organised the web in such a way that it made more sense to people and made the web appear as an integrated whole.

        They are on the verge of controlling the devises (Android phones, tablets, Glasses, and soon to emerge Chrome Books), the services (Search, Docs, Maps, Cloud Storage and more) and the flow of information with coming new project to connect users already announced. I don’t know about you but, even if most of their products are in appearance free, it scares me like hell to see one company controlling so much important information and parts of our daily virtual life. At least MS only controlled the OS market at one point. It gave them an edge on revenues based on applications running on their platform.
        • They are not free

          They are given away. But they cost money. They even cost their users money. They cost their users money by raising the prices of the goods their users buy. If they didn't raise those prices, then Google's customers (advertisers of products their customers buy) wouldn't pay Google to develop them.

          Indeed, you probably pay *more* of your own money to use Google products than you do to use their "boxed" equivalent. But you can't comparison shop, because it is nearly impossible to figure out what that extra cost to you was.
          x I'm tc
        • if you don't like google search

          type in bing and use that. Use duckduckgo, whatever. There is nothing I *need* google for and can use alternate products easily the minute I see any 'hanky panky' going on. Google knows that too and have to "behave". If you haven't noticed, regulators have been keeping a close eye too.
          Unlike windows, I have to use at work because of some windows-only apps. And now, bing will be integrated into windows 8 desktop. Surely that will achieve lots (although declining) of desktop sales and forced use of bing. Now that's scary.
          • You don't get it do you?

            It's not about the quality of Google products.

            It is about the fact that Google controls too much of our computerized life. For, besides the fact that your liberty of choice is certainly not at its best, it is fine and we don't need to worry that much because Google is a young company still trying to please its clients and it is run by descent human beings. But, can you personally guarantee that Google will never be run by evil intended persons in 50 years from now. What will they do then with all this power? Google is already more powerful than many governments. What's next? Will the come to a point where they can black mail your president?

            That is what's frightening me.
          • So? You complain about Google controlling everything...

            But don't complain about MS controlling everything???
          • i get what you are saying

            You are just focused on dislike of specifically google. Perhaps you should be frightened of the internet in general then. Your computer can easily get 'ransomware' right now and put child photos on your computer and notify the authorities people in your contacts list unless you pay up. This has nothing to do with google.
  • If Snowden is right…

    If Snowden is correctly reported in the U.K. Register five days ago, that Microsoft opened up an NSA back door to, one might ask how big and how wide is the door?
    • Actually, Zack just posted an article that blows that out of the water

      So It's sounds like Snowden is incorrectly reported in the UK Register.
      William Farrel
      • Zack's Article???

        His article states that Microsoft did not hand over encryption keys but does store all information email and files in and UNENCRYPTED state to facilitate data request. This means Microsoft has made it easy to hand over data and keys are not even needed. Microsoft Cloud is in trouble.
        • OK. So the government says "here is a court order for that data"

          Microsoft will then UNENCRYPT IT, and hand it over to the government, just like Google or Facebook will "IF they store their data encrypted. Either way, they're getting the data unencrypted.

          It's no different then the government asking for your toothbrush - locked, unlocked, either way you're going to open the cabinet to give it to them.

          Microsoft's Cloud is in no trouble.
          William Farrel
          • Not Exactly

            They said that data stored on their servers is NOT encrypted. So there is no need to decrypt for NSA, perhaps this is why PRISM lists Microsoft as great partner. If they give the NSA access all info is available and no decryption is needed. Microsoft recent statement about not handing over encryption keys is meaningless in this context.
          • The government doesn't need a court order...

            Just a national security memo that says "give".
  • Microsoft delivers native Outlook Web App clients for iPhone, iPad

    More revenue for Microsoft by getting the Apple users on board. Microsoft is branching out so that all may use their services instead of keeping them locked in to a single platform.
    • Is there more revenue?

      Apple users who must use Microsoft services for one reason or another already do so via the software provided by Apple. Having an app from Microsoft will change nothing: the lock-in is provided by the service, not the software.
      • Lock-in: practiced by Apple and Google and Microsoft and Amazon, so,

        what the heck are you griping about?

        So, lock-in to a Microsoft service can occur via an Apple app or a Microsoft app. What the heck is there to complain about? Whoever needs the MS service, is doing so willingly and knowingly. There is nothing hidden anymore about the practice of "lock-in". They all do it.
        • Whois complaining?

          I was merely pointing out that this new software does not bring anything that iPhone/iPad users don't have already.

          Further, contrary to Apple's Mail app, this Microsoft software does not work with anything else, but Microsoft's own services.

          You argue for the sake of argument?
    • Loverock-Davidson = TROLLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

      Derp-derp, derpity derp.