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Articles: The Outlook is bright for Microsoft on Apple

Outlook, Apple, email, MacFor many people, email has developed into a Hate-to-Use ratio of 1:1. In my experience gained from supporting computer users over the years, the same number of people who want access to email will equal the number of complaints that I receive about having to use email. It is the worst mixture of unrequested information and crucial calls to action. You can have a solicitation for pornographic encounters sitting next to an email from your boss telling you to have that report ready in the morning. The former you want to delete fast, and the latter is essential to your livelihood. Aggressive deleting can cause important messages to be inadvertently deleted along with the block of unwanted junk. Most of the time we despise its invention and dream of a future without the need for it. Despite the universal disdain email receives, working adults need to use email throughout their day. With that need/hate relationship, there is an ever-present desire for an email application that will lessen the pain and help us organize our communications.

Mail on iOS was a champion of email organization in its early days. Many users with a large inbox would sing the praises of using an iPad to sort through mail, myself included. Unfortunately, Mail’s performance has decreased with each generation of the iOS, until it has become nothing better than good for managing mostly only iCloud emails. To compensate, many Mail users installed apps like Gmail to manage email from specific services. The former iPad champion of email management has now turned into silos of specialized mail apps. Just last month I had Yahoo mail, Gmail, Google Inbox, and Apple Mail all open on my home screen. My iPad was a mess of unread counts and missed communications. Today I have one application on my iPad and iPhone for email, and it comes from Microsoft, of all places. Outlook for iOS is the best email management program you can use to date.

Nearly 20 year ago, at the request of the newly returning Steve Jobs, Microsoft invested in Apple Computer. It was a hard pill to swallow for many Apple fans. Microsoft represented the successful yet crappy knock-off of the Mac and the bad blood still runs deep for some. Much has changed for Apple since that time. People are moving to the Mac OS from Windows and iOS devices dominate the competition. Microsoft’s new CEO is now looking to make a better Microsoft through innovation and compatibility. This change is happening at Microsoft’s edges, not at its core. Outlook for iOS is based on the work of a recently acquired company, Acompli. If we see other changes from Microsoft, it’s likely to be through additions to their offerings, not changes in their established products. The New Microsoft is embracing users wherever they can be found, and if Outlook is any indication, it will be great for the many Apple users.

Place any skepticism aside and download Outlook for your iOS device. Setup all your email accounts, and then explore the settings. The greatest difference between Outlook and every other mobile email application is that it provides the choices you want with practically no cruft. It is email-account agnostic, handling all providers as equals in the app. Unlike the Apple Mails, it flexes to allow the user to customize. If you want links to open in a different browser than Safari, the setting is there. If you have a different signature for each account, that’s expected, and they make it easy for you to setup. If you use your calendars as extensions of your email then you are in luck, all your calendars are right there next to your inbox. If you want items you slide left or right from the email list to do some other action than Archive, that’s not a problem, there is a setting for that.

So you might want to try Outlook, it’s free, useful and perhaps it will make you hate your email just a little less. It will definitely make you feel a little more positive as to Microsoft’s future on Apple devices.

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