Accessing one's calendar in the Outlook apps for iOS and Android is easy enough, but some features like the ability to manage and sync shared calendars are best left to the desktop client or browser-based application. That is, until now.
Microsoft has added the ability to view and edit shared calendars in its Outlook mobile apps, allowing users to make and distribute changes while they're on their phones, the company announced on Oct. 9. Users can also now create shared calendars and accept invitations in the app.
Microsoft is in the process of upgrading existing shared calendars to make use of the new functionality in the apps, so the new shared calendar features may not be available for some users at present. For those who can't wait, the company suggests that users re-accept a calendar invite or ask a calendar's owner to send another invitation to enable the feature.
Sometimes, assistants or other employees manage Outlook calendars on behalf of others. Microsoft is now allowing them to step away from their laptops by enabling new calendar delegation features in the mobile apps.
Users can accept delegation requests and manage delegated calendars, viewing and editing events just as they would in their own calendars. To avoid cases of mistaken identity while scheduling an event, calendar invites clearly indicate if they are for the user or the person for whom they are managing a calendar.
Also new is the ability to create and manage recurring events (daily, weekly and monthly). Users can also now accept or decline an invitation to a single event within a series without accepting them all, or conversely, deleting a recurring event series if one of the events therein is declined.
Borrowing a feature from the Outlook app for iOS, the Android version now enables users to view their colleagues' availability while scheduling a meeting.
Finally, Microsoft is building on the existing Facebook, Evernote and Wunderlist integrations in the Outlook calendar by adding support for Meetup.
After connecting their Outlook and Meetup accounts, users will be able to keep track of upcoming Meetups in the Outlook calendar. Meetups are generally local gatherings of people with similar interests and talents, allowing them to learn a new skill, network with others and share their knowledge.
Meetup support is available now in the Android app, with iOS to follow soon. Like Facebook and other integrations, it appears under the Calendar Apps option in Outlook's settings page.
In addition to helping users with their time management needs, Microsoft has also been steadily adding new functionality to Outlook's messaging capabilities.
In September, months after launching the capability on iOS, the company enabled Outlook's productivity-boosting add-ins in the Android version of the app. The list of available add-ins includes Dynamics 365, Microsoft Translator, Trello, JIRA and several others. In June, Microsoft improved the app's contact management capabilities, allowing users to create and edit Outlook.com and Office 365 contacts.