Microsoft is working on a new feature that will help users keep their contacts organized in Outlook for iOS and Android. The new Contact categories feature, which was announced at Ignite 2020, will start rolling out later this month, according to the Microsoft 365 Admin center.
The desktop version of Outlook and the web app has long allowed users to categorize their contacts into categories or folders in their Microsoft account. This makes it easier to manage their contact lists based on those categories. Currently, if a user has contacts in a subfolder in Outlook on the web or Outlook for Windows or Mac, those contacts don't sync in Outlook for iOS and Android.
Based on user feedback, the company is adding support for syncing contact subfolders in Outlook mobile but with a twist. Interestingly, the Outlook mobile app will be syncing this folder information as categories instead of as folders. Users who have set up contact subfolders will see those subfolders as new categories on their mobile devices. The category label will correspond to the subfolder's name in Outlook on the Web or Outlook for Windows or Mac.
Furthermore, users will also be able to manually add or remove category labels to contacts and assign them a color if need. In addition, there is also the ability to filter the contact list by individual categories. To be clear, any changes made to category labels in Outlook mobile will not affect folders in the other Outlook experiences, it's a one way sync.
Indeed, this good change for users who have been using contact subfolders, and it will help them better manage their contacts. In case you missed it, the company is also working on a single version of Microsoft Outlook (for both Mac and Windows), which will eventually replace the existing Mail and Calendar apps on Windows 10.