Microsoft Adds New Features to Outlook for Mac Preview

Some additional features in Microsoft's "new Outlook for Mac preview" are now generally available, Microsoft announced Wednesday.

The company first unveiled the new Outlook for Mac preview in 2019, then released it as a more general preview in mid-October 2020. It is currently still at the preview stage, though some of its lagging features, which were previously described back in September, can now be tried.

One of the new features available in the new Outlook for Mac preview is support for iCloud, Yahoo and IMAP accounts.

On the security side of things, organizations can use Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) to encrypt messages between correspondents using the new Outlook for Mac preview client. It's also possible to use the Microsoft Information Protection service to label and classify data that might appear in e-mails according to policies set by IT departments.

For end users, it's possible now to share calendars and mailboxes with other users. Calendar sharing can be done directly from the inbox, and it's possible to share calendar invites with Microsoft Teams users, too.

A "Favorites" feature will let end users add their important contacts, if wanted, for quicker access. Contact cards in the new Outlook for Mac preview now have "panels" offering quick access to associated e-mails and files. These cards have been redesigned to be "adaptive," so they scale across other Microsoft 365 services.

Users can tap saved searches for reuse. The announcement explained that "saved searches are virtual folders that dynamically display a set of search results."

The new Outlook for Mac preview can be tried by activating a toggle button within the application itself, as described in this Microsoft support document. These new features require using various builds of the Beta Channel version 16.46, according to that document.

A bunch of other Outlook for Mac features scheduled for March release are described at the Microsoft 365 Roadmap page. It's not clear from Microsoft's various announcements when the new Outlook for Mac client will reach "general availability," or commercial release.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.