Posted 07/17/2013 at 11:58 AM
Posted 4 years ago
Microsoft has released native web apps for iPhone and iPad.
OWA for iOS as it is known, has been made available as a free download and provides users of the Apple operating system with a native experience; but, before you get carried away, you should know that the apps are not going to provide you with full functionality. Instead, they are simply a stripped down mail app with calendar and contact features and, as is so often the case with Microsoft, downloading the app isn’t exactly the straightforward process you might expect.
Rather than say “here are the Outlook Web Apps for iOS, get out there and download them for free now!” Microsoft has made things complicated by making the apps available to Office 365 subscribers only. This means getting the apps “free” will require a $100-a-year subscription to Office. As TechCrunch points out, offering the apps for free would eliminate the main selling point of the Microsoft Surface RT tablet; however, the flip side to this is that the company are alienating regular Apple users, which is disappointing because the app is really good and looks excellent with the Windows 8 flat, minimalistic styling.
Based on the browser version of Outlook (which is really good), the iPhone and iPad Outlook apps will allow users to access emails, calendars and contacts, as well as supporting Bing integration to provide directions to meetings.
Microsoft also highlighted some of the additional features on its official blog:
stored credentials so you are automatically logged into the app
push notifications that actively notify you of new email
meeting reminders that pop up even when the app is closed
voice activated actions like scheduling a meeting or sending email
contact sync so that OWA contacts are recognized by the iPhone’s caller id function
remote wipe capability that allows it to delete email and calendar data in the app from the device in the event that the device gets lost or the user leaves the organization
This app probably will not appeal to the masses as there are only a small percentage of iOS Office users, but if you are an Office subscriber and are running iOS 6, the app is one worth having.