Less than a month after releasing Outlook for Android and iOS, Microsoft today updated the app with new features and improvements. You can download the new version now directly from Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
First up, Microsoft has added PIN lock support. This means Outlook now implements password enforcement using Exchange ActiveSync — if your company email policy states that devices require a password in order to sync email, Outlook will enforce this at the device level.
On Android, Outlook will enforce screen lock rules; devices that do not support these security settings will not be able to connect to an account. Google also provides controls that allow Outlook to honor additional Office 365 and Exchange policies regarding password length, complexity requirements, and the number of allowable screen-unlock attempts before wiping the phone. Outlook will also encourage users to enable storage encryption.
On iOS (8.0+ required), Outlook checks to make sure a passcode is properly set (if not, Outlook will prompt users to set one up in iOS settings and won’t work until it is). Outlook uses the passcode to encrypt all the data it stores locally on your iPhone or iPad. As a result, devices will be encrypted whether or not the Office 365 or Exchange policy requires encryption.
Next up, Microsoft has improved how quickly admin-led remote wipes are executed. While before the process could take a few minutes, the process will now “happen within seconds,” the company said. This is still an app-level wipe (it will not affect any of the user’s personal apps and information): email, calendar, contacts, and files data will be removed from the device and from Outlook’s cloud components.
IT controls aside, Outlook for Android and iOS now has IMAP support. Outlook uses IMAP IDLE whenever possible, meaning push-like behavior is possible even with IMAP accounts (if it’s not supported, Outlook will sync every few minutes).
Finally, Outlook has also gained some features specific to each platform. Android users can now personalize their swipe gestures (previously only available on iOS) by going to Settings and choosing Swipe Options. iOS users meanwhile can turn off the conversation view, which groups all messages with the same subject line together, by going to Settings and then Organize Mail by Thread (Android users will get this “soon”).
Microsoft promised updates to Outlook “every few weeks.” So far, the company is delivering; the first update isn’t a minor one by any stretch.
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