New Features In The Outlook APP for IOS & Android

Over the past few years I have slowly tried to dump the laptop and go to a tablet instead.. My previous weapon of choice was the iPad, more recently moving over to the Microsoft Surface Pro for work..only because of the key requirements for me to do my day job.

But having just found out the following, I might consider going back to my iPad again, as this was one of the key reasons for dumping the iPad.

Whether you’re planning your next dinner date or an upcoming meeting with teammates, the Outlook app is there to help you manage and make the most of your day. October 10 2017 Microsoft are adding several of the most highly requested calendaring features, including the ability to sync your shared calendars to your phone and manage and RSVP to recurring events.

A big part of Microsoft’s prioritisation of new features and enhancements comes from the votes and feedback Microsoft receive from Outlook UserVoice.

Here’s a look at what’s new:

Sync shared calendars to Outlook

You will now be able to view and edit shared Office 365 or Outlook.com calendars, just like you can with your own calendars. Better yet, you can also share your own calendars with others and accept sharing invitations easily right from the app.

If you don’t see your shared calendars right now, don’t worry. Microsoft are in the process of upgrading existing shared calendars so that they start syncing to Outlook. However, if you just can’t wait and want the new experience immediately, simply re-accept the sharing invitation from Outlook on iOS or Android. Once you do this, your shared calendar will appear. If you cannot find the original calendar sharing invitation, ask the calendar owner to re-share and accept the new invite from Outlook. And voila!

Manage delegate calendars on the go

For those of you who manage someone else’s calendar at work, you’ll now be able to do this from the palm of your hand. Manage your delegates, accept a delegation request, and fully view and edit the delegated calendar all from Outlook on iOS or Android. And when you receive meeting invitations and responses, we will more clearly indicate if they are for your or your manager’s calendar, so you don’t get them confused.

Get your Meetups added directly to your calendar

Following up on Microsoft’s launch of Facebook and Evernote in Outlook on iOS and Android this year, we are releasing support for Meetup—a new Calendar app in Outlook. Meetup brings people together in thousands of cities to do more of what they want to do in life. Now, when you connect your Meetup account to Outlook, you can see your upcoming Meetups directly on your calendar.

Managing your events is even easier

Microsoft are bringing the best of what Outlook has to offer on the web and desktop to your phone, so you can make the most of your busy day while on the go.

These updates are available for both iOS and Android:

  • Create events with daily, weekly, monthly or yearly recurrences.
  • RSVP to a single occurrence of a recurring event series (e.g. decline one instance without removing the entire series from your calendar).
  • See your coworkers’ availability when scheduling meetings (available previously on iOS, now available on Android).

These features are now available on iOS, coming soon to Android:

  • Add a message when responding to a meeting invite (e.g. explain why you are declining a meeting invitation.)
  • Set an event as private, to keep the details to yourself when sharing your calendar.
  • Mark your calendar events as Busy, Free, Out of Office, or Tentative.

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So Long iPad….Hello Surface

I simply cannot believe that I am writing this, but as the title suggests I have ditched the iPad favouring the new Surface Pro 4….

I have been a serious Apple fan for many years, in fact I still am. I own a Mac Book Pro, iPhone, Watch and Apple TV and my family also own a range of Apple products-they are superb. However, I am a technical consultant that spends many hour travelling the UK meeting customers and generally fixing stuff. Up until recently I have relied on my trusty iPad Air 2 with the Logitech keyboard and of course the superb Office 365 services.

ipad surface

So why the change?

I specialise in all things Microsoft so Windows Servers, Office 365, Azure and also have been known to dabble in Networking and I simply cannot use my iPad for everything For example, if I go and see customers that don’t have wireless networks then I have no means of connecting to the infrastructure. I cannot create Powershell scripts and run them from my iPad, the biggy for me is the Outlook app. I run a small team of engineers and not being able to have true visibility of multiple calendars and business critical applications is a real problem. Don’t get me wrong, I will continue to adore my iPad, I continue to use it regularly for media and also for the range of excellent apps. I also fly drones commercially and the iPad comes in really handy for planning and controlling my drones.

Are there any downsides to the Surface?

Well like everything, you can’t have it all. With my iPad I was used to having a lovely 4g connection pretty much everywhere I went on the Three network. Unfortunately the Microsoft Surfaces do not have the ability to add a sim card for mobile data usage. – I guess I will just have to get used to tethering my device to my iPhone…

To Finish…..

The iPad and the Surface are both superb devices, and right now I am exceptionally lucky to own both of them, but for my professional career as much as it pains me to say this, the Surface gives me just that bit more flexibility to be able to do more aspects of my job. I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings in the world of technology, you never know, Apple may pull something out of the bag that yet again makes the iPad the weapon of choice.