Outlook has learned a few new tricks for early 2016.
Microsoft has updated its Outlook for Android and iOS apps, incorporating a new time-saving feature for users who rely on Skype to place voice or video calls. Now, users can add preset Skype sessions directly within the Outlook app.
"When creating a new event on your calendar, Outlook now includes the ability to add a Skype Call," stated Microsoft's Outlook team, in a blog post. "When you tap the Skype Call toggle, Outlook includes a Skype link in the description of the event. When your scheduled meeting time arrives, recipients simply click the link in their calendar to launch Skype and join the conversation."
Recipients don't need to have a Skype account or the software installed to participate in a scheduled call. Instead, the shareable Skype link will guide such users to the browser-based Skype for Web experience.
In an accompanying FAQ, Microsoft noted that the Skype call scheduling functionality currently only works with the consumer Skype app. "We will add support for Skype for Business in an upcoming update," pledged the company, referring to the enterprise version of the communications software. Microsoft is also working on bringing the new feature to the Outlook Mail app for devices running Windows 10 Mobile.
Microsoft also added two new calendar views to the iOS version of Outlook, a two-week mini calendar and a three-day view, along with the ability to set the week-start day (Sunday, Monday, etc.). The two-week view and week-start options are coming soon to Android (the three-day view is currently supported).
Also on the Android front are navigation improvements. "Outlook for Android now sports a new navigation bar to make moving around the app a breeze," stated the Outlook group. "This change brings the Mail, Calendar, Files and People sections to the bottom of the app, within easy thumb-reach, decreasing the time it takes to check your calendar or find that important file."
Meanwhile, Apple Mac users can now make the most of their on-screen real estate while managing their Outlook inboxes.
"Outlook for Mac now officially supports Full Screen view for OS X Yosemite and above," announced Zan Chu, program manager for Microsoft's Outlook for Mac group, in a separate Jan. 12 announcement. "Ever since we released Outlook 2016 for Mac, native Full Screen view has been one of the most requested features at the Outlook for Mac UserVoice forum."
Native support for the full-screen feature in the latest edition of OS X also opens up new productivity-enhancing viewing modes. "With native support for Full Screen view, Outlook as a Split View app for OS X El Capitan just works," stated Microsoft. "You no longer need multiple monitors to view different Outlook modules. You can conveniently combine different modules in Split View to fit your workflow."