Microsoft released a new app for Android users last week called Oultook.com, which is essentially a separate email app designed specifically for Microsoft’s Outlook.com free email service. Of course it also works with MSN.com, Hotmail.com, and Live.com emails as all of those are now part of the Outlook.com service. For the most part, this app is just a rebranding of the Hotmail app that was previously available for Android. The icons and logos have changed and it has added support for Outlook.com email addresses, but you won’t find any special features from the web browser version of Outlook.com. There’s no “Sweep” feature, no flag support, no categories, and contact groups don’t sync with the People app. You can add multiple Microsoft free email accounts to the app, but it’s a struggle to see the advantages of this versus the built-in Exchange Active Sync support for Microsoft’s free email accounts.
I suppose the Outlook.com email may be a little easier to use than Android Jelly Bean’s native email app since it has easy-to-read labels for the functions as opposed to confusing ambiguous icons, but the app’s design is still stuck in the old days of Android where large tabs at the top and big rectangular grey buttons were the norm. There is an Outlook.com widget that comes with the app, but it’s just a listing of new emails and not as customizable as the default Android 4.1 email widget.
If you’ve got an Outlook.com email address, have you found any great reasons to use a dedicated app as opposed to the native email app? Try out the new Outlook.com Android app at the Play Store.