Microsoft has been testing a new Outlook for Mac design over the past year, and it’s now ready to roll out to all users next month. The new design includes Microsoft’s Fluent icons, rounded corners, and changes to make the email app ready for macOS Big Sur.
Microsoft’s Ribbon interface has been removed, and everything looks a lot cleaner. It’s a hybrid of Apple’s macOS design and Microsoft’s own Fluent design. Reading and writing emails have been improved with single-line views, a new mail compose UI, and even a feature to ignore emails. Panels are also collapsible so it makes Outlook for Mac a lot more customizable for the main view of emails.
Microsoft has also improved the way contacts work in Outlook for Mac. The People section now separates out contacts and co-workers from events and email messages, and it’s easier to see frequent contacts or simply mark existing ones as favorites.
Every part of Outlook for Mac sees some changes, including the calendar and search features. Calendars can now be grouped by ones you own, those that are shared with you, and group calendars found on Microsoft 365. There’s a Microsoft Teams meeting toggle and the ability to click and drag over the calendar to create entries. Search should also be a lot more relevant now, as Outlook for Mac is powered by the same Microsoft search found elsewhere in Office 365.
Microsoft seems to have focused a lot on customization and personalization with this new Outlook for Mac design. You can now tweak the message list density to compress it to see more.
While the design is the main change, there are some significant changes that won’t be as visually obvious. Microsoft is bringing its sync technology that’s used on Outlook for iOS and Android and Windows Mail to this version of Outlook for Mac. It means Office 365, Outlook.com, and even Google accounts will sync faster thanks to Microsoft’s cloud services. Support for iCloud and IMAP accounts is coming soon.
Microsoft says the new Outlook for Mac design will be available to all users in mid-October.