In less than two months, Microsoft has capitalized on technology from its Acompli buy to create new Outlook apps for iOS and Android. Microsoft, which acquired the San Francisco-based provider of mobile email apps for $200 million in early December, boasted today that "Acompli is now Outlook."
Both apps will work with Microsoft products like Office 365, Exchange and Outlook.com as well as Gmail, Yahoo Mail and other services. Acompli is now available on the App Store and Google Play for smartphones and tablets.
According to Microsoft they will replace existing Outlook Web Apps (OWA), although not right away. Microsoft plans to leave the OWA for iPhone/iPad/Android apps on the market until it fully integrates all of their advanced features, which it expects to do by summer.
Outlook Web Apps work well enough for many users. So why make the switch? According to a blog post by Javier Soltero, General Manager of Outlook and co-founder of Acompli, the integration is part of an ongoing process to "develop a superlative mobile email experience."
Like many people working in information management, he believes that email is here to stay, regardless of what social media advocates predict. Soltero noted that last year there were 1.1 billion email subscribers — and that according to the analyst firm Radicati that number should double by 2018. "In the business world, email will always have a critical role in facilitating productivity — as an asynchronous communication queue — and a repository of knowledge and information, “ he wrote in the blog post.
However, email is not perfect and heavy use does not necessarily mean more productivity. He points out that the average business users will send and receive around 121 email per day. With increasing use of mobile technologies, this also means that more emails will be sent from mobile apps.
The new app is already available in 30 languages.
The new apps will be able to sync mail, contacts, calendar and files from Office 365, Exchange Online, Exchange Server (2007 SP2, 2010, 2013), Outlook.com (including Hotmail, Live, and MSN), Gmail, iCloud and Yahoo! Mail. They also connect to OneDrive, Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive and Box, and they will also be updating Outlook to connect to OneDrive for Business.
Office For Android
But that’s not the only mobile goodness Microsoft announced today. Again, in what has to be record-breaking speed, it has taken the Office for Android apps out of preview and made them generally available.
As of today, Word for Android tablet, Excel for Android tablet and PowerPoint will be available in the Google Play store as free downloads.
Users will be able to view, create and edit content in the Office for Android tablet apps without a subscription, but not access more advanced editing/creation features or take advantage of unlimited OneDrive storage without one.
To access premium features you have to sign up to Office 365. Enterprise customers can use Office on their Android table once they have signed into their organizational account.
Microsoft also claims Office for iPhone and iPad has been downloaded 80 million times since it was made available and remains in the Top 10 Best Productivity Apps category in the app store.
Since the Office for Android tablet preview release, there have been 250 thousand downloads of the Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps across 33 languages in more than 110 countries.