Since Windows 10 launched publicly last July, the in-built Mail app for Windows 10, which acted as an early example of the new Universal Windows Platform, has seen numerous updates, bringing new usability and accessibility features to users. Favorites like linked inboxes have returned and migrated to desktops, but Microsoft notes some of the more essential improvements to the app in an official post on its MSDN blog.
Accessibility is key to reaching as many users and having them be able to take advantage of an app's features, and Microsoft describes some of the ways its Mail app for Windows 10 is more accessible. The company writes that the Mail app is ideal for a simple interface for reading complex emails, as well as making navigation with a keyboard easier, with Enter moving between sections and Esc allowing users to go back from within an email to the email list.
Other accessiility tweaks and improvements include the inclusion of Narrator, Windows 10's in-built screen reader. Microsoft continues to work actively with developers of third-party screen readers to better optimize them for Windows 10 and Mail. Some of the most recent improvements to Mail include:
- There is more predictable keyboard behavior so you always know where you are in the app.
- Navigation is more familiar. You can move to the content of an email using the Enter key instead of the F6 Key, and use the Escape key to move back to the message list.
- Reading mails with bullet points with Exchange accounts is more reliable when using a screen reader.
- We’ve worked on improving the names of items and information used by screen readers as you move around the mail app, so you have more information that you need and less that you do not.
- You can enjoy a more efficient reading experience for complex emails.
Microsoft also briefly discusses their plans going forward. The company hopes to continue to work with third-party screen reader developers to further optimize the platform, as well as working within their own apps to make the experience of setting up an account even simpler and more accessible. Complex email reading will also be a target area of improvement.
With Windows 10's accessibility becoming not only a highlight but also a necessity for some users, Microsoft hopes to improve the experience of communication for all users. The work that Microsoft is putting into Windows 10's Mail app demonstrates their ongoing commitment to making sure all users can effectively use Microsoft solutions going forward.