You’ve probably read about the Mail app for Windows 8.1 changes and improvements, now we have more details on enhancements Microsoft is bringing to the email experience when using an Outlook.com account.
According to Microsoft’s data about 68% of Outlook.com transactions happen through a mobile device, that being from a phone, tablet, or other type of mobile devices. Also more users are likely to use an app than the web version of the email service. With that in mind, the software giant made some significant changes on how Outlook.com interact in the next version of Mail for Windows 8.1, and aims to provide an easier way to manage personal and work emails from one unified interface using touch or keyboard and mouse.
- Select multiple messages by using the checkbox in the message list.
- Drag-and-drop emails into folders.
- New app bar — Now you’ll see a narrow bar at the bottom of the screen with three dots, click or tap and Mail options and features will just appear.
- Mail only syncs up to two week of messages, but using search will also trigger a lookup in Microsoft’s servers.
- Improvements system resources reducing battery usage and network bandwidth.
- New hover commands to enhance usability with keyboard and mouse.
- Switch accounts on the fly — This particular feature helps you manage work and personal email accounts, without the need of another app or web access. Plus the company has now added a feature that allows you to change the return address of your email if a message was sent to the wrong account.
- New toolbar called “Power Pane” — As you add new accounts, Mail is capable to identify people you connect with and line them up in the the People view. Tapping a person will bring up your conversation with that person. Tapping the People icon will create a timeline with all the messages from your favorite people. It’s worth noting that you can manually favorite someone, and Mail has also the ability to adapt over time and change who is in your favorite list depending on how you connect with people.
Finally, Outlook.com users get some extra features in Mail, for example, newsletters and social udpates are now organized into folders to declutter your inbox even further. Sweep allows you to clean and get rid of many unwanted messages with a single click. And you’ll get the options to delete all messages and/or block senders, keep the latest email and delete the rest, or delete emails older than 10 days from all folders. You can set automatic replies when you’re going away, and because of EAS (Exchange ActiveSync) your Outlook.com contacts and calendar will sync on every device.
Keep in mind that most of the features listed above are global improvements that you’ll be able to use on pretty much every email service supported (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Exchange, etc.). Only additional Power Pane features, newsletters and social updates filters and Sweep are features specific to Outlook.com.