Microsoft is working on a major redesign of both Outlook for Mac and its Windows counterpart. The aim is to simplify the user-interface, bringing it more into line with the iOS app. The iOS app was redesigned back in July.
Key changes are a single-line ribbon and a smaller set of default commands shown …
If the idea of simplifying a desktop app to bring it in line with a mobile one makes your heart sink, it may not involve the compulsory dumbing-down that suggests: The Verge reports that you will still be able to customize the ribbon with your own choice of buttons.
The Mac app will also use trackpad gestures to mimick the iOS UI, such as sliding to delete messages.
Microsoft is said to recognize the importance of the Mac platform, and to acknowledge that Outlook doesn’t deliver the type of experience it should.
The software maker admits “MacBooks are popular amongst key influencers and decision makers,” and that the company “needs to win these users by delivering the best Outlook has to offer.” The overall interface will pick up the same ribbon changes and left navigation panel, but Outlook for Mac will also include improvements to search and calendar. Search will be faster and more reliable, and easier to discover in the top right corner of the app. Calendar will also be improved with fly-outs of information, and a better interface for managing appointments.
The new app is currently in internal testing, and will roll out first to Office 365 subscribers before coming to Office 2019.