Despite the popularity of other messaging platforms, including Facebook messaging, Twitter, and even plain text messaging; we still are slaves to our old familiar e-mail Inbox. For most professionals working in the legal space, e-mail is the lifeblood of communications, not only with clients but with co-workers and vendors as well. Increasingly we find ourselves drafting and responding more to e-mail messages on our mobile devices than on our office desktop PCs. As such, we are constantly looking for the optimal e-mail app that allows us to master our Inbox on our smartphone rather than scrambling to find an important e-mail buried weeks-deep in our Inbox. Fairly or not, we seem to always judge an e-mail client app based on how it performs compared to Outlook, simply because we are so accustomed to the Microsoft Outlook interface that has ruled our desktop for the past 10-15 years.
So, it is not surprising that our ears perked up recently on the Microsoft announcement that a new, free Outlook mobile app was being rolled out for both iOS and Android platforms. It’s been a long time coming, so we downloaded the new app on our respective smartphones with much anticipation, but also with a little bit of dread for fear that the mobile Outlook would not live up to its hype. Thankfully, our fears were unfounded. Our test drive of the new Outlook mobile app has gone very smoothly and we have taken a strong liking to this new e-mail tool.
First of all, setup was a breeze on the new Outlook app, with smart setup wizards for the major e-mail account options, including Exchange, Outlook.com, Google (Gmail), Yahoo, and, even iCloud (yes, Microsoft plays nice with Apple…take note, Apple developers). Additionally, we were pleasantly surprised to see integrations with cloud storage providers OneDrive (Microsoft’s solution), Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive (more on this later). There were no arcane server names or ports to configure (for those familiar with the old-fashioned e-mail setup). We just entered our login credentials, and voilá, our e-mail started appearing.