Microsoft Outlook for iOS and Android Gets a Facelift

The mobile calendar features that Microsoft acquired when it bought Sunrise earlier this year are helping to give its Outlook mobile e-mail app a facelift. Redmond said today that it will be adding Sunrise's "richer calendar experiences" to its own Outlook app -- starting with iOS [pictured] -- before eventually phasing out Sunrise as a standalone app.

A new look with calendar features from Sunrise will be coming to Outlook for Android in early November, Microsoft added. The company is also developing an Outlook mobile app for Windows phones that will be released soon, the company said.

Over the past year, Microsoft has made a few acquisitions aimed at further developing its mobile e-mail offering. In addition to Sunrise, which it acquired in February, the company has also been integrating technology it gained with the purchase of Acompli in December.

'Just Getting Started'

Rolling out today, the updated Outlook app for iOS users features a fresher, cleaner design that "puts your e-mail, calendar, people and files front and center," according to Javier Soltero, corporate vice president for Microsoft's Outlook team. The new version of the app also offers a number of navigation and user interface improvements designed to make it easier and more intuitive to use, he said today in a post on the Outlook blog.

The Outlook apps for iOS and Android were first released in January, and Microsoft plans to continue refining them to bring "a true Outlook e-mail experience to every mobile platform," Soltero said. He added that there are now nearly 30 million active users of the app logging 1.2 billion sessions on smartphones and tablets every month.

"These numbers show what we've known for some time -- despite reports to the contrary -- e-mail is a key communications channel across all parts of our life, and...

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