Windows 10: Hands-on with the new Mail and Calendar apps

Windows 10 build 10051 reveals new Mail and Calendar apps, here a first look.

New Mail and Calendar apps for Windows 10

Windows 10 build 10051 recently surfaced on the internet and it includes a new Mail and Calendar apps. The first thing you’ll notice is that new apps match the same look and feel as the Office apps for Windows 10.

While the company has been releasing a number of previews to Windows Insiders, none of the builds released up until now included the new Windows apps, but Microsoft has previously demonstrated an early version of Mail and Calendar during the January’s Windows 10 event. Now the apps, which appeared on a leaked build of the upcoming operating system, could indicate that Microsoft may offer an official preview in the next build.

As for functionality, pretty much everything you can currently do in Mail and Calendar for Windows 8.1 you can do in the new versions. However, Microsoft opting for a new design that follows the new modern design the company is integrating throughout the operating system, and more specifically the apps look very similar to the touch-friendly version of Office apps.

Of course, the apps are in preview and their functionalities are quite limited, but they will get better as Microsoft releases new updates.

Mail

Mail (Outlook) app for Windows 10

The software makers is also adding a few new features: the Mail app now includes new swipe actions, as you see on Outlook for iOS and Android, which means that if you’re using the mail client app on a Windows 10 touch-enable device, you can swipe right to flag an item or swipe left to delete a message. The swiping actions are also customizable by going to the settings page.

The new Mail app for Windows 10 includes support for multiple accounts. You can add all your Google, Exchange, and all other Microsoft accounts when you first fire-up the apps, or at any time by going to the account options in the settings page.

Add new accounts to Mail app for Windows 10

An interesting feature is a new option that let you set a custom background image to right pane of the app. It’s designed in purpose to remove the emptiness when there is no message selected, and it will disappear when you are reading a new email.

Background image for the Mail app

Unlike the Mail app for Windows 8.1, the new version has new icons with labels, which makes a lot easier to navigate and find the right actions, and all actions are now visible – not on hidden menus –. When composing a new image, you’ll notice that a new ribbon menu will appear to access all the formatting tools, which looks just like if you were using the touch version of Word, but with less options.

Mail app for Windows 10 user-interface

The app still carries the Mail name, but Microsoft will brand the new app “Outlook” when ready.

Calendar

New Calendar app for Windows 10

The new Calendar app has been completely overhauled. Now instead of simply filling the entire screen with a calendar, you’ll get a left pane with the current month and the different calendars available, and the actual calendar with all your appointments on the right, which is very similar to the user-interface you get with Google Calendar.

From the left pane, you can easily click “New event” to do just that or like before, you can simply click a day of the week to create a new event.

Creating a new event in the new Calendar app for Windows 10

When creating a new event, you will also notice, just like in the Mail app, that Microsoft is bringing the same user-interface familiarity found in the touch version of Word, but obviously without any formatting options.

New event details on Calendar for Windows 10

The Calendar app for Windows 10 also includes a wider range of how you view the calendar, you can now choose to view by day, work week, week, month, and today.

At the bottom of the left pane, you’ll now find the button to access the settings. The settings are basic, you can configure the first day of the week, work week, working hours, and more.

The good news with the new Calendar app for Windows 10 is that Microsoft is also including support for Google Calendar, something that was not supported in the version for Windows 8.1.

Without a doubt the Calendar app is a great improvement over the Windows 8.1 version and it feels just like an Office app.

The odd thing is that Microsoft isn’t integrating Calendar inside of Mail, instead they are both separate apps, which is a different direction of the full version of Outlook what integrates both into a single solution. This would be something you would expect when clicking the Calendar button from the Mail apps, but it’s not.

Both apps feel like an upgrade from the same apps released for Windows 8.1, and it’s good to see that Microsoft is building apps that follows same modern design throughout the operating system. This not only makes things less confusing, but it helps to shorten the learning curve as users will feel familiar navigating and using these and other apps.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.