Outlook for iOS and Android can now help users manage more chores, errands and social gatherings using a single calendar.
Microsoft launched a new feature for the Outlook iOS and Android apps this week called Calendar Apps, enabling users to keep tabs on their to-do lists, reminders and events from select third-party apps. Calendar Apps allow users to link their Calendars with Evernote, Facebook and Wunderlist. If the functionality sounds familiar, that's because Calendar Apps was part of the popular Sunrise calendar app. Microsoft acquired Sunrise Atelier, the New York City-based maker of the Sunrise calendar app, in 2015.
"Since the Sunrise team joined Outlook, we've been hard at work bringing all the goodness and extra features from their app directly into our calendar to give you a single, powerful app for managing your personal and professional life," blogged the Microsoft Outlook team. "Calendar Apps, along with a two-week mini-calendar, three-day view and iOS calendar widget, have already made it to Outlook, with Connected Calendars up next."
Once the apps are linked, it's a two-way street. Not only does Outlook populate users' calendars with reminders and activities from those services, it can also bounce users back to the respective app if they want to view or edit events.
In Evernote's case, setting a reminder on a note will cause it to appear in the Outlook calendar along with a link back to Evernote. Tapping the "Open in Evernote" link launches the Evernote app, enabling users to view their reminders in more detail.
The process is similar with the Outlook-Wunderlist integration. (Incidentally, Microsoft acquired the Wunderlist to-do app last year.)
Scheduling a to-do in Wunderlist creates an all-day calendar event in the Outlook calendar. Again, tapping on the "Open in Wunderlist" link allows users to view and edit their to-dos in the Wunderlist app.
Finally, users can now manage their Facebook events (invited and accepted) using their Outlook mobile calendars and keep an eye on their friends' upcoming birthdays. Users can RSVP directly from the Outlook app and view event and location details without leaving Outlook. Of course, Outlook also offers the option to open events in the Facebook app.
More Outlook Calendar Apps connectors are on the way, teased Microsoft. The company is also working on integrating Outlook mobile with Skype for Business and OneNote.
Also this week, Microsoft published a version of its Hub Keyboard for iOS to the Apple App Store after the February release of the app for Android.
Hailing from Microsoft Garage, a mobile software development unit within the software giant that focuses on experimental apps, Hub Keyboard replaces the stock iOS and Android keyboards with a multitasking keyboard that offers extended clipboard functionality, language translation and quick access to URLs pertaining to Office 365 documents stored in SharePoint for the OneDrive cloud file storage service.