The Office team today delivered an update to its Outlook app for iOS; the update adds support for add-ins, much like Outlook on Windows, web, and the very recently updated Mac preview.
Add-Ins, essentially, are minified apps; users can install these add-ins into Outlook, where they can perform various tasks within the app.
For now, Add-ins only work while reading an email, though the Office team promises to expand the feature in the future.
Microsoft is kick-starting the wheel by releasing some 3rd party add-ins as well as a few 1st-party ones; Evernote, Trello, Nimble, Smartsheet – they are all great productivity apps that will enhance an Outlook user’s experience significantly if used properly.
There’s also a GIPHY add-in since work doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun.
As far as the 1st-party add-ins go; there’s an add-in for Microsoft Translator, and Dynamics 365.
Of course, if the initiative is successful, there will be a lot more add-ins to choose from; Outlooks’ feature list could potentially become limitless.
The Two Year
On this day two years ago, Microsoft launched Outlook Mobile; the goal was to expand the reach of Office ecosystem, and it has been very successful at that.
Today’s update comes out on the two-year anniversary – at a time when other email providers have stagnated, Microsoft continues to push through.
Adding support for add-ins not only brings the Mobile version to parity with Windows, web, and (soon) Mac, but it also makes Outlook on Mobile a bit more competent.
The Other Platforms
The Office team confirms in their announcement that the feature will be coming to Android sometime in the near future; however, there is no word on an update for the Windows 10 UWP app.
The Windows 10 UWP app, of course, also works on Windows 10 Mobile – not just Windows 10.
It’s not fun to see Microsoft ignore its own platforms; it makes sense for the company to introduce new features where the users are – Android and iOS – but ignoring its own platform might just become a cost too high – especially in the long term.
Hopefully, we will hear more about the expansion of this feature soon.