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Send a Starbucks gift card in Outlook with add-ins on Office 2016 for Mac

microsoft adds google calendar contacts support office 2016 for mac office2016formac
The second day of Microsoft’s Build 2016 developers conference has been a busy one. The Redmond tech giant went from showing off an AI framework that could replace customer service reps to explaining how mods will work on Xbox, but now it’s doing something that could benefit Apple users too.

That’s right, add-ins are coming to Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac. Comparable to extensions on a browser, director of Office 365 ecosystem marketing Rob Howard suggested this move is part of the company’s “Office as a platform” efforts, adding that add-ins will make their way to Android at an undisclosed future date.

Oddly enough, one of the first add-ins comes from Seattle-based coffee chain Starbucks, letting users set up meetings at one of its many locations or conveniently send gift cards to their friend’s email address. For Outlook, add-ins were originally revealed at last year’s Build conference, and although they’re just now making their way to Mac, over 100 extensions are currently available within the service.

Other add-ins on Office for Mac include Boomerang, a personalized email productivity ribbon, and Document Wizard, which gives users access to a number of data-driven templates in Word.

What’s more, Microsoft demonstrated how developers could take advantage of Word’s Javascript API to create add-ins of their own. For those familiar with the programming language, it seems easy enough to use, plus it’s cross-platform, so you don’t have to worry about making a new add-in specifically for Mac if you’ve already created one before.

Add-ins have been available on Windows, iPad, and the Web for quite some time now, so it’s only natural that we’d see them pop up on the Mac productivity suite as well. Though Microsoft hasn’t announced an official release date for Office for Mac add-ins, we have been informed by Microsoft that they’re slated to arrive “later in the spring.”

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