Microsoft rolls out new Outlook apps for iOS and Android

Microsoft is using the code base from its Acompli acquisition to deliver new Outlook apps for iOS and Android.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Just a month after acquiring Acompli, Microsoft is turning that code into new Outlook for iOS and Outlook for Android apps.

On January 29, Microsoft will begin making available Outlook for iOS and a preview of Outlook for Android. These new Outlook apps will work with Office 365, Exchange, Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail, Gmail and other e-mail services.

Microsoft plans to replace the Outlook Web Apps for iOS and Android, as well as the Outlook.com app for Android with these new Outlook apps. That won't happen overnight; the Outlook Web Apps and Outlook.com app will remain in the respective app stores for several months. But Microsoft plans to "sunset" Outlook Web Apps and the Outlook.com app for iOS and Android by summer, officials said.

San Francisco-based email app vendor Acompli -- headed by former execs from Zimbra and VMware -- launched an iOS version of the company's email app in April 2014, and an Android version in September 2014. The mobile Acompli applications featured an integrated calendar, as well as Exchange and Gmail integration.

The Outlook for Android preview app is available immediately from the Google Play store, and the Outlook for iOS app will begin rolling out into the Apple app store starting on January 29.

Microsoft showed off last week new Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar apps that will be coming with Windows 10 that will share some of the look and feel with these two new versions of Outlook.

Microsoft also announced today that it is removing the "preview" tag from its Office for Android apps. Starting today, Word, Excel and PowerPoint for ARM-based Android tablets are available as free downloads from the Google Play store . (OneNote for Android is already available there.) Support for Intel-based Android tablets with these Office apps will be coming within a quarter, officials said.

A basic, consumer-focused version Office for Android tablets will be available for free; a version with more business-focused features will require an Office 365 subscription -- just like Office for iPad does. Users will be able to view, create and edit content in the Office for Android tablet apps without a subscription, but not access more advanced editing/creation features or take advantage of unlimited OneDrive storage without one.

Microsoft also is redoing the Office Mobile on Android phones release so that it looks and feels more like the Office on Android tablet one. Specifically, Microsoft will be breaking up the Office Mobile hub into separate Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps, Microsoft officials said, just as they have done on the iPhone as of last year.

Microsoft will have more to say about the new Office Mobile on Android apps later this year, officials said.

Microsoft officials said there were 250,000 downloads of the preview versions of the Office for Android apps. There also have been 80 million downloads of Office on iPad and Office on iPhone apps combined as of this week, according to Microsoft.

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