Sharing things over email might not be what the millennials are doing today, but it is still quite relevant. Email is used by millions – and the Outlook team is only trying to make the experience of doing so, better.
The Outlook app for iOS and Android already lets you link up your Google account. Things do not stay as seamless when you come over to a desktop, though. Microsoft has now updated Outlook Mail on the web with some refinements and a few nice features to keep things seamless.
Google Drive integration
As said earlier, this feature technically already exists on the iOS and Android apps for Outlook, but now adding it to the web brings more flexibility for productive users.
The integration adds the ability to do two things: For one, you can now attach files from your Google Drive in your emails without ever leaving Outlook.
The second is a bit more complicated: When you upload a .docx file to Google Drive, Google likes to convert it to .gdoc for several reasons. While this is fine on Google’s part – it can break a seamless experience on the other side. Up until now, if you received a Google Docs file in an email on Outlook – you could open it, but it would open in a new tab.
With the new update, Outlook is now able to open and display the Google Drive file types within its interface – just like it does for Office files and photos. It still seems to be opening the file in a ‘frame’ of sorts within Outlook – so if you happen to have editing permissions for said file, you can even start editing it – without ever leaving Outlook.
Pretty much the same as Google Drive – you can now link your Facebook account within Outlook and start attaching photos straight from Facebook in your emails without ever leaving Outlook.
There isn’t much else to Facebook, though – this is all you can do with Facebook. This feature can be very useful for those who have family and friends outside of Facebook – something not as uncommon as you might think.
Another little feature that the Outlook team worked on was a new way to look at all of the attachments in your emails. While the idea of threaded emails might have been around for decades – it still gets refinements today. A long conversation can be tedious to keep track of, especially if it has a lot of attachments.
Starting now, Outlook Web has a tiny little menu just for this – it now lists all of the attachments from an email thread, so you don’t have to go through the whole conversation to look for a file you need.
Some of these features are significant – on one hand, Google Drive integration brings the ecosystem of both companies closer, allowing for a more seamless workflow for those who prefer Google’s storage solutions but Microsoft’s productivity applications.
On the other hand, a simple UX feature refines the Outlook Conversation experience further and makes things even more seamless. These are the little things that make or break interface; it is great to see the constant attention Outlook is getting by its development teams.
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