By: Dann Anthony Maurno
It has been two years since Microsoft launched Outlook Mobile with advanced email and calendar management; today, the company is launching a spate of add-ins for Outlook inboxes on iOS.
On the Microsoft Office blog, Javier Soltero, corporate vice president for the Office team, announced:
We’re thrilled to collaborate with Evernote, GIPHY, Nimble, Trello and Smartsheet and bring their add-ins to Outlook on iOS. We’re also making a few of our own add-ins available today with Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Translator, with many more to follow.
Microsoft promises that you can transform your inbox into a “do-box” with the add-ins. Rather than leaving inboxes to access other apps and services, the add-ins for Outlook enable you to use those apps from within email. Soltero gives as an example being able to translate an email from a new Italian customer while updating the customer’s CRM history and your notes or project board, all without leaving Outlook.
Add-ins for Outlook on iOS are available today to Office 365 customers and are rolling out gradually to Outlook.com users. Soltero advises “We will soon be bringing them to Outlook on Android.”
Support for Android is coming soon.
Getting started with Outlook on iOS
As of today, the add-ins for Outlook on iOS include Dynamics 365, Nimble, Evernote, Smartsheet and GIPHY, complementing existing add-ins already available to Outlook users on Windows, Mac (in Insiders) and on the web. Additionally, Microsoft is launching new add-ins for Trello and Microsoft Translator across Outlook on iOS, Windows, Mac (in Insiders) and on the web.
To start using add-ins for Outlook on iOS, go to Settings > Add-ins and then tap the + sign next to any add-in you want to enable.Tapping the add-in icon in an email header launches any add-ins you have enabled.
In addition to Outlook on iOS, you can access the add-ins from Outlook 2016 or 2013 for Windows, Outlook on the web and Outlook 2016 for Mac for the same email account.
While add-ins for Outlook on iOS are currently only available when reading email, Microsoft promises more add-in actions when composing or replying to emails at a later date.
The office team is “committed to making Outlook an open platform for developers,” writes Soltero, and invites interested parties to the Dev Center blog Add-ins are now available for Outlook on iOS to learn more. The team also invites comments and suggestions for new apps in the add-ins section of Outlook for iOS uservoice.
The Microsoft Dynamics 365 add-in
The Dynamics 365 add-in for Outlook is designed to enable quick look-up of a Dynamics 365 record of your customer contacts, to associate an email or appointment with an existing opportunity, or to create new records (see graphic) with just a few taps from inside an email, without having to copy/paste or switch between email and Dynamics 365.
The Dynamics 365 add-in for Outlook is available immediately for Outlook on iOS users with a Dynamics 365 subscription, and Microsoft’s TechNet blog offers step-by-step deployment guidance.
Also included in today’s spate of add-ins for iOS:
- Nimble, offering insights on any contact included in Outlook, including broad social profiles, industry, shared relationships, mutual interests, company profile, revenue and more, “to help you get prepared for meetings and engage effectively.”
- Microsoft Translator, which can you translate email messages on the fly, with support for 60 languages.
- Trello, a collaborative tool for organizing and prioritizing projects; enables you to associate any incoming email with an existing board.
- Evernote, which enables clipping emails from Outlook to a project notebook, where they appear alongside other project-related assets such as meeting notes, saved web pages or Office documents.
- Smartsheet, a collaborative solution to help manage and automate work. Users can get work assigned, updated and completed more quickly, without leaving email; they can also create new tasks and add relevant information, including attachments from email into Smartsheet.
- GIPHY, purportedly “the world’s first and largest GIF search engine.” Microsoft advises that “you can now use GIFs to congratulate a friend or co-worker, wish them a happy birthday or simply add a touch of your personality, without leaving your inbox.” (Perhaps business utility will evolve over time.)