Microsoft launched Outlook.com for Android, looking to provide users of its new email service with a connected experience on mobile devices. While it delivers at syncing one’s email, contacts, and calendar from an Outlook.com account to Android, the interface and functionality are vastly outdated, especially on a device running Jelly Bean.
The goal, according to the description on Google Play, is, “easy access to Oulook.com [sic].” This portion it does well, as by entering your login credentials you are prompted to sync your email as well as contact and calendar details. The only downside here is if you have linked your Facebook account with Outlook.com, several messenges will begin to come through about Facebook friends’ upcoming birthdays.
As mentioned, the interface is dated, looking exactly like the current Hotmail for Android app. In fact “reply” and other commands are hidden in the settings menu when reading a message. Microsoft is capable of better, as its SkyDrive app performs well and plays nicely with the Holo interface. Perhaps the Microsoft team was trying to get the app out into the market, but it needs some serious work before anyone would consider ditching Gmail for Outlook.
I have used Outlook.com and like a lot of what I have seen. I appreciated being able to finally get a personal email address without numbers. The interface is very minimalistic and puts the focus on the email. It has great keyboard shortcuts and works fine in any browser.
Yet in order to truly take on Google, the mobile experience must improve.