Microsoft Outlook for iOS and Android Looks Like Acompli and That's Good

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Outlook for iOS and Android Looks Like Acompli and That's Good

Well, that didn't take long. After Microsoft bought the hit email app Acompli (it was even one of our favorite apps of last year) last month, they turned it around pretty quickly into an official Outlook app for iOS and Android. Outlook joins Office as Microsoft continues its mobile software push beyond Windows Phone.

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For the most part, Outlook is Acompli and Acompli is Outlook. In fact, Microsoft says they've written these new apps from the same code base. For those who've never heard of Acompli, the app will feel familiar whether you're dedicated to Mac Mail or Gmail with its swipe-based actions for dismissing and replying to email. Acompli's biggest claim to fame is the in-app calendar that syncs with your email, allowing users to easily switch between the two.

I haven't had the opportunity to take a deep dive on the Outlook app yet, but what Microsoft describes as the same "code base" may simply mean "we renamed it." I mean look at these two screenshots:

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Outlook for iOS and Android Looks Like Acompli and That's Good

The left is pulled from Acompli's website and the right is the new Outlook app. Pretty similar!

But even if it is a complete copy, it only means Microsoft follows the most ancient law of design—if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The app is available today for iOS and as a preview for Android. But don't feel too bitter my Android friends, Microsoft is pulling the "preview" status of its Office apps for Android tablet, so now you can rush to the Google Play store and get Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for free.

DISCUSSION

Netsnipe
Andrew Lau

Damn it! Looks like my corporate Exchange server needs to explicitly whitelist this app, even though it's an official Microsoft app. Who the hell designs email servers with such little future proofing?!

Subject: Your mobile phone is temporarily blocked from synchronising using Exchange ActiveSync until your administrator grants it access.

You won't be able to synchronise your phone with the server via Exchange ActiveSync until its permissions to access the server are checked.

Use of this activesync client violates the security policy of your email service.

Information about your mobile phone:

Device model:Outlook for iOS and Android
Device type:Outlook
Device ID:...
Device OS:Outlook for iOS and Android 1.0
Device user agent:Outlook-iOS-Android/1.0
Device IMEI:
Exchange ActiveSync version:14.1
Device access state:Quarantined
Device access state reason:DeviceRule