Microsoft is bringing some much-needed improvements to its Outlook for Mac app. Starting this week, Outlook for Mac beta testers (in the Fast Ring) will be able to access a new design that comes with some significant performance improvements. Microsoft is bringing its sync technology that’s used on Outlook for iOS and Android and Windows Mail to Outlook for Mac. It means Office 365, Outlook.com, and even Google accounts will sync faster thanks to Microsoft’s cloud services.
Microsoft is also tweaking the design of Outlook for Mac, and adding a lot of features that have been available on the web and mobile versions of Outlook. Reading and writing emails has been improved with single line views, a new mail compose UI, and even features like the ability to ignore emails. Collapsible panels have been added so you can customize the main view of mail and tweak the toolbar accordingly.
You’ll notice that the ribbon looks like it has disappeared in Outlook for Mac. “Following the same design principles as the Office 365 user experience updates announced last year, the ribbon was updated in the new Outlook for Mac to be fully customizable,” explains a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “In Mac environment, we refer to it as a toolbar – at this time, there are no plans to announce updates to the ribbon elsewhere on Office for Mac.”
Microsoft has also added a new “My Day” view of your daily calendar next to the main mail screen. Microsoft has also moved the search bar to the top of Outlook for Mac, and integrated Microsoft Search into the results. That should mean search results are quicker and more relevant, and there’s even new filters to let you customize searches fully.
It looks like Microsoft has paid attention and updated Outlook for Mac with a lot of improvements that Mac owners have been asking for. Microsoft is really trying to win over power users who use Outlook for Mac, and bring it closer to being level with the Windows and web variants. You’ll be able to try this new Outlook for Mac update in the Fast Ring this week by toggling “New Outlook” in the top right-hand corner, and Microsoft is planning more updates over the coming months.
Update, November 4th 9:20AM ET: Article updated with Microsoft’s comment on ribbon design in Outlook for Mac.