Microsoft to overhaul Outlook with lots of new features – here’s what to expect

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Microsoft has announced plans to overhaul the design of Outlook, its email and calendar service.

The update will include a host of new features including the option to compose an email as a draft on your smartphone or tablet before finishing it off on your desktop.

The Redmond firm said some updates have been made available immediately while others will be rolled out before the end of June.

One of the most useful additions to the new update is a bill payment reminder with Microsoft saying Outlook will scan your emails, automatically add the date a bill needs to be paid to your calendar. Not only that but it will email you a reminder three days before the bill is due to be paid.

There are also some new features being added for business users, with Outlook now offering suggestions for meeting locations and the option to book a meeting room from your smartphone. There are also improvements to RSVPs to give you a better idea who is attending meetings.

On the new feature, Microsoft said: “With this insight, invited attendees can better manage their time and decide if they should attend based on the plans of others.

“For example, knowing who’s going can save you some time if you decide the meeting can be addressed by other teammates who are planning to attend.”

Another useful new feature brings an improvement to how Outlook handles emails you are blind copied in. When you reply to an email you are included in as a BCC, Outlook will display a warning before you hit send, allowing you to avoid an embarrassing faux pas.

The Outlook iOS and Android apps are also being updated with new features.

Outlook for iOS will now support better syncing between your smartphone and desktop, allowing you to compose an email on the go before finishing it on your computer.

The feature, which is already available on Android and Windows will be rolled to iPhone and iPad users later this month.

Explaining the feature, Microsoft said: “Now you can continue drafting emails in Outlook for iOS that were initially started on other devices.

“Draft Sync for iOS makes it easy to pick up where you left off simply by navigating to the conversation in your inbox.”

Android users are also getting a quick reply box that allows you to quickly reply to an email without having to change screen, as well as a favourite contacts feature which will make it easier to send emails to the people you communicate with the most.

The new Office Lens feature will let you take a photo of information written on a piece of paper or a white board and then automatically crop the image so it can easily be added to email.

The news comes after Google announced it is currently overhauling Gmail.

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