Microsoft upgrades its Outlook apps for improved after-hours working

There has been a 52% jump in the number of instant messages sent between 6 p.m. and midnight, according to Microsoft. A lot of the increase is happening on phones, hence Microsoft’s emphasis on its iOS and Android apps in its recent round of Outlook updates.

One of these updated app features is called “Meeting Insights” for Outlook for Android. With Meeting Insights, the Outlook Android app will show messages and files relevant to your meeting right in the event details on your calendar. Meeting Insights pairs well with enhancements for suggested replies on both mobile and Outlook on the web.

The Outlook mobile feature now allows you to see suggestions to send your availability or schedule a meeting when someone wants to meet with you.

There is also an improved one-tap-to-join online meetings feature. While Microsoft Teams and Outlook work together to help make it easy to join meetings, it has now been updated to support Zoom and Webex, so you’ll be able to join those meetings more easily, right from your email. You’ll also be able to use a new default setting to automatically create meetings online, without having to worry about sharing a link.

The final new feature for Outlook on mobile is the ability to easily create a task from a mobile email message. Just highlight the item to create a task on both mobile and web.

People on Android will also now get the same Play My Emails feature that iOS users have long enjoyed. It leverages Cortana to allow you to listen and respond to your email while you’re busy doing other things.

Elsewhere, there are new features on the web version of Outlook. For those with busy days, Microsoft is making it easier to see the details for a meeting right in the Outlook inbox, without having to switch to the Calendar section of the experience. Users will be able to toggle between messages and meeting details, see the attendee list and who is attending the meeting, and even add an online meeting, right from above an email.

They will also gain the ability to add a personal calendar to a work calendar on Outlook on the web. This ensures that if you have a business event that clashes with your personal events, your schedule will be shown as busy, with no details or information available to event organizers. There’s even a new Snooze email feature, which will allow you to mute emails that you don’t want to reply to right away.

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