App Spotlight – Outlook for iOS

Although I gave up on Microsoft’s Windows Phone a couple of years ago I still have plenty of good memories of me and my nifty Windows Phone. In fact if you are in a nostalgic mood you can browse my Windows Phone articles here.

All is not lost for Microsoft in the smartphone world. Even though I gave into Apple empire for both myself personally and my organization all is not lost. That’s because Microsoft has been publishing apps at an amazing rate during the past two years and many of them are simply top notch.

One of my favorite Microsoft Apps is “Outlook”. Why do I recommend trashing Apple’s default mail app and installing Outlook?

Phones with Outlook app.

Innovation and Consolidation 

The Microsoft Outlook app is a mobile productivity powerhouse, bringing your email, attachments, contacts and calendars into easy reach. Outlook’s built-in analytic engine automatically surfaces important email (across multiple accounts) based on your communications, and quick swipe controls allow you to easily triage your email. It’s a great mobile email app, and works with Exchange, Office 365, Outlook.com, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and iCloud email accounts.

Also included with Outlook is your calendar, files (OneDrive, Box, Dropbox & Google Drive) and contacts. If you are using Apple’s default apps you have separate programs for each of these. With Outlook – you have one app to control them all.

Of course if you rely on Microsoft Outlook on your desktop this is the perfect companion app on your smartphone or mobile device.

You can learn more about Microsoft’s Outlook app here.

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Technology Training Day @ West Chester

Today much of our staff got together for our quarterly technology training. Although you may have not been there – you can check out much of what we talked about right here.

We covered Microsoft Excel, Outlook, Word, OneNote, Skype for Business and the very scary situation that is Ransomware.

 

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Outlook.com Premium at a Bargain Price

My favorite personal email service just got better… for $19.99 a year, for a limited time after which the annual cost grows.

Image result for outlook.com premium

As with the consumer-oriented “Ad-free Outlook.com,” a $20 per year deal that scrubs advertisements from the service, Outlook.com Premium also erases ads from the five inboxes.

According to the small print on the Premium website, 12 months of the service will cost $20 until the end of March, at which time it will climb to $50, its regular price.

Renewals for those who get in under the discount wire will run up to $30 — $20 for the Outlook.com service, $10 for the domain name, if there is one — apparently until Microsoft decides to raise the price. “You will be notified if the price changes,” the website said.

Microsoft has aggressively promoted subscriptions for several years, but with the launch of Windows 10 — and that operating system’s “software-as-a-service” model — the company accelerated efforts with new enterprise-grade subscriptions to Windows as well as programs targeting consumers, such as the Groove music streaming service and now Outlook.com Premium.

Microsoft today officially launched a premium-grade Outlook.com email service in the U.S. that omits ads, provides five inboxes and supports personalized addresses.

If you are looking for a inexpensive email service that is professional, easy to use and modern in it’s offerings you cannot go wrong with Outlook.com.

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Outlook Mobile Gets 2 Year Anniversary Improvements

Outlook on my iPhone is awesome and may be my most used mobile app, and it just got better. That’s because today Microsoft today announced their two-year anniversary of Outlook Mobile for Android and iOS.

Starting today, the iOS version is gaining extensibility thanks to a new add-ins capability.

Outlook Mobile Hits Two Year Anniversary, Gets Extensible

Android will pick up this feature soon, Microsoft adds.

“Two years ago, we launched Outlook mobile with the goal of helping you accomplish more while on the go,” Microsoft’s Javier Soltero writes in a new post to the Office Blogs. “More means an inbox that helps you focus on the emails that matter most. More means a calendar that can manage your entire day, not just show you your schedule. And today, we are excited to continue that mission by bringing apps to your inbox with add-ins for Outlook on iOS.”

For this initial launch, Outlook for iOS will support several add-ins, including:

Dynamics 365. This add-in provides “real time insights about your business contacts and their organization, right in your inbox, so you can focus on the selling and have more meaningful interactions,” Microsoft says.

Translator. Helps you read messages in your preferred language, across devices, with support for 60 languages.

Nimble. Helps you get prepared for meetings and engage effectively with business intelligence about your email contacts and their organizations, right in email.

Trello. Turns your email into actionable items, keep track of projects, and make sure emails don’t go unseen.

Evernote. Capture what’s on your mind and stay organized by clipping emails from Outlook to a project notebook in Evernote.

Smartsheet. Helps you manage and automate work so you can get work assigned, updated, and completed more quickly.

GIPHY. This one helps you add GIFs to your emails. Why? Why ask why?

Microsoft is also providing developers with the information they need to write their own add-ins, so we should see these capabilities improve nicely over time.

Currently, add-ins are only available when reading email. But Microsoft says it will be adding more add-in actions for composing or replying to email in the future too.

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Technology Training for November 10, 2016

Today’s Technology Training shared for all of our dedicated readers.

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Microsoft Begins to Introduce “Outlook Premium”

Recently, Microsoft very quietly started testing a Premium subscription for Outlook.com. I love this free email service & interface. It is easy to use and compatible with every service that I can find.

Now, Microsoft seems to have updated the official registration page for Outlook.com Premium, which now states that the service will cost $3.99 per month. However, users will be able to try out the feature free for a year, which is quite impressive. It is worth noting that Microsoft could possibly allow Office 365 users to use Outlook.com Premium for free, which will be a good offer, too. For those unfamiliar, here are just some of the features of Outlook.com Premium:

The upcoming Outlook.com Premium features:

  • Five personalized email addresses: Get personalized email addresseslikemichael@smithcrew.com* for up to five people. Your new email syncs with your existing Outlook.com mailbox, so there’s no additional setup.
  • Staying connected has never been so easy: Share calendars, contacts, and documents with ease. Sharing relationships are set up automatically between the people who have email addresses on your domain.
  • An ad-free inbox: Outlook.com Premium has no banner ads, so you can enjoy a distraction-free view of your email, photos and documents.
  • Powered by the new Outlook.com: Gain access to a new, modern inbox that includes enhanced security, privacy, and reliability features. Outlook.com gives you new ways to collaborate, manage your time, and get things done.

 

Outlook.com Premium is currently in the Pilot stage, and Microsoft is allowing users to sign-up for the service. I hope to be included in this pilot program soon and will of course report here if it is worth the $3.99 a month.

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Email Issues with Outlook 2016 for POP3 Arise

Having any issues with deleted or duplicated emails lately?

A recent Microsoft Support Knowledge Base article has been posted that describes a problem with POP3 accounts.

POP3 accounts are what providers such as Verizon and Comcast rely on for their email service.

outlook

The article, KB3145116, describes the following as the symptoms that are indicative of this issue:

  • After Outlook downloads your email, all the email messages on the server are deleted from the Inbox.
  • Email messages are downloaded multiple times in Outlook, causing duplicate items.

The issues described above occur if you are using Outlook 2016 version 16.0.6568.2025 and have setup any email accounts that are accessed using the POP3 protocol.

There are three settings that may cause the inadvertent and unexpected removal or duplication of emails if you have the Leave a copy of messages on the Server enabled along with these options:

  • If Remove from server after X days is enabled it may cause emails to be deleted from your account on the server.
  • If Remove from server after X days is disabled it may cause emails to be duplicated in your local account.
Outloook 2016 POP3 Account Settings

Microsoft is currently looking into this problem and will update the knowledge base article once they have more information. I am sure an appropriate update will also be shipped once they know what needs to be updated/modified.

In the interim they have published two workaround options for this which include using IMAP instead of POP3, if your service provider supports it of course, while the second method is to revert back to a previous version of Outlook/Office 2016.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to use either of those options so hopefully this gets resolved sooner rather than later.

If you can take advantage of either workaround you can get the full step by step process on the KB3145116 page at Microsoft’s Support site.

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Is Outlook.com About to Experience a Metamorphosis?

Word is “on the street” that Microsoft might be considering replacing the technology and user interface of Outlook.com with Office 365. Apparently Microsoft may be migrating all Outlook.com users to Office 365 at some point later this year.

This is important because Office 365 brings with it many other services as well, including Outlook Web Access.

outlook

The question is why would Microsoft do this? According to The Verge the reason behind this migration is to make sure that Microsoft Outlook, Exchange and Office 365 platforms are perfectly aligned. Makes sense to me.

In favor of keeping things consistent Microsoft is going to go ahead and add the consumer Outlook.com to the mix as well. I think this is a great idea. I have been a user of Outlook.com since it’s launch re-launch in July 2012. From 1996 through 2012 Outlook.com had been “Hotmail”. A service I never did use.

There has been speculation previously about impending major user interface changes for Outlook.com, Microsoft’s general manager of Office Apps Rob Lefferts suspected that much.

It’s worth nothing that Microsoft has not updated its consumer email service for quite a few months and it even turned down integration with both Google and Facebook chat recently.

As to what user interface changes might be made, it’s likely that the Outlook Web App interface used on Office 365 could be front and center.

There’s no word as yet on exactly when Microsoft plans to migrate all users from Outlook.com to Office 365.

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Outlook Comes to iOS& Android

office365-splitterI knew that there was a good reason that Microsoft acquired Acompli back in December. Acompli was a company that had built a high quality email app for both iOS and Android platforms. The apps were quite popular with whoever took the time to give them a shot.

Acompli cost Microsoft just over $200 million so you know there had to be a plan and this past week their plan was exposed.

Microsoft this week released Outlook for iOS and Outlook for Android (in beta).

The apps are now live on the App Store and Google Play Store, and should provide a high quality mobile email experience for users complete with all the traditional Outlook features many of us have come to rely on.

Of course there are countless email apps already available on these two mobile platforms are, but Acompli has built a bit an amazing reputation and Microsoft will be the beneficiary.

Rockin' the new Outlook App on my iPhone.

Rockin’ the new Outlook App on my iPhone.

Hopefully, with the force of Microsoft the programming and design behind Acompli will shine as the newly designed Outlook app.

I have just downloaded this app and although it took a little setup and configuration I must say it is very nice and is now my defacto email app on my iPhone. It also has my calendar, contacts, onedrive and even Box and dropbox accounts all there – in one app.

You can grab the Microsoft Outlook Preview app on Android or iOS.

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Getting Control of Outlook’s Notifications

It’s been a little while since I posted a good old tip for you, my dedicated readers. I decided to take a minute and post one here as my day winds down. Do you find that Outlook notifications can actually distract you doing the work day. Does your PC “ding” continually while you work? Well if this is a problem there is a way that you can gain control of Outlook and it’s notifications. What I suggest is reducing the number of alerts you get to only those most important to you.

In Outlook, set desktop notifications only for those VIP messages. All you need to do is turn off all desktop alerts under the Mail Options, then create an Outlook rule to display alerts for messages from specific people sent only to you. For example:

The first thing you will want to do is un-check everything in the Message arrival section of Outlook's options.

The first thing you will want to do is un-check everything in the Message arrival section of Outlook’s options.

 

Then open “Rules” on the toolbar and “Create Rule”. Once here you can choose to “play a selected sound” for countless conditions such as “From” or “Subject Contains” as well as many more if you open “Advanced Options”. You can even choose different sounds for different people.

I won't bore you but there are endless options here and this is only the tip of the iceberg for setting sounds for specific events.

I won’t bore you but there are endless options here and this is only the tip of the iceberg for setting sounds for specific events.

 

Bonus Rule Tip: You can right click on a specific email and select “create rule” from the mini-menu that appears. If you do this, the rule will already have the sender entered in the “From” section for you.

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