Perhaps to assuage the few Windows users who felt jilted by the news of new features being released to the Android and iOS version of Outlook, the Windows team is highlighting the additions that come to the Mail and Calendar apps for Windows 10.
In a lengthy post on its Windows Experience Blog, Rachel Sirkin, program manager for the Mail and Calendar apps and Vivek Kumar, product manager for the same property, discuss the 8-month long transformation as recent feature packed updates for the services.
- Personalization: We have added a number of personalization features that let you make the apps your own. You can now customize the background, accent color, theme and calendar colors. We love seeing some of the screenshots you have shared with us and wanted to share our own with you as well.
- Linked Inboxes for multiple accounts: We’ve heard you love connecting multiple email accounts in the Mail app, and also wanted these in one view. In December, we released Linked Inboxes. Now you can select which of your accounts are linked and see all your emails from those accounts in one place without having to switch between them.
- Deeper integration with live tiles, notifications and Cortana*: We’ve heard how you enjoy the integration of features like live tiles and notifications, and we’ve taken extra steps to make sure the apps work well with Cortana. Here are a few quick tips and tricks to try. Add events to your calendars using Cortana with your voice. Reminders you set using Cortana show up in the Calendar app. You can also start typing emails from Cortana and complete your prose in the Mail app if you want. We will continue adding more of these features so that your Mail and Calendar experiences leverage the full power of Windows 10 and Cortana, your personal digital assistant.
- Continued commitment to stability, syncs reliability and accessibility. With each of the app updates we’ve released, quality of the experience instability, sync reliability across your Windows devices, and accessibility are priorities for our team. Recent accessibility improvements to Mail app include a more predictable keyboard behavior, familiar navigation, and reliable reading for Exchange accounts with screen readers.
While those are features, and updates most Windows 10 Insiders have been privy to for some time, last month’s release of Windows 10 Redstone Insider preview build brought:
- Drag and drop attachments into your email messages
- Print week view in Calendar (more views are coming soon)
- Turn off message preview text in the message list
- Get rid of junk email with right-click ‘Move to Junk.’
- Let others know “I’ll be late” directly from meeting notifications
- Spotlight: We added a new in-app feature called Spotlight, that gives you the highlights in major updates. Here we will showcase our top new features that we hope you’ll check out.
- What’s New: For those of you who like more detail, check out the What’s New page under Settings with the app. Here we’ll note the latest features and improvements released early to Windows Insiders as well as those that have been released to everyone.
So, before the pitchforks and tar are brought out from those feeling neglected by the Windows team in light of recent Android and iOS Outlook announcements, remember how far the Mail and Calendar apps have come. In particular, think back to the Windows 8 versions and what passed for a functional mail and calendar client back then. Of course, competition isn’t standing still for the Windows teams development cycle, but they are listening and applying feedback as quickly as they can.