Microsoft launched a huge update for Outlook for Mac, with a raft of new features and improvements coming to the Mac email client. The update comes as part of Microsoft’s Ignite event and is calculated to arrive in mid-October, just in time for MacOS Big Sur.
One of the headline new features in Outlook for Mac is its underlying Microsoft sync technology. This results in faster and more reliable performance, Microsoft says, with reduced email load times, quick account syncing, plus more relevant search results.
There has also been a wide-ranging visual overhaul that takes many cues from Big Sur. This includes rounded window corners, new sidebar icons, and greater use of white space to create a lighter feel that fits in well with Apple’s latest operating system update.
The visual changes are not just for show, though — Microsoft says it has worked to improve productivity and workflow when using the app. For instance, the calendar has been updated with a cleaner look, with the My Day mini calendar, in particular, receiving attention here. My Day has been integrated into the main Outlook window, giving you a quick view of your upcoming events while you browse your inbox. You can adjust the look and feel of the My Day pane and the sidebar, too, to better suit your needs and adjust your message list to show extended or compressed mail previews.
Elsewhere, a new People view gathers all your contacts in one place for easy management. There is support for third-party add-ons and unified mailboxes from different services, search has been improved, and event creation has been simplified with a new drag-and-drop interface.
Interestingly, Microsoft has not swept away the old Outlook just yet. When you launch the updated version of the app, you will notice a toggle in the top-right corner to activate the “New Outlook.” Enabling this switches everything over to the new style, but you can always disable it and go back to the old way if you prefer.
Outlook for Mac is due to launch in mid-October. If it is anything like the excellent Edge for Mac browser, Apple fans could be in for a very pleasant surprise.
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