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Grow Your Business Technology

Outlook App Gets Productivity-Boosting Sunrise Features

Outlook Update, business technology

Microsoft's mobile Outlook app boasts a slew of new features to make it an even better tool for tracking your work life. The additions include integration with Skype and maps, as well as visual features that make it easier to take in your schedule at a glance. The new features – which are available today on the iOS version of Outlook and coming soon to Android ― are mostly borrowed from Sunrise, a now-defunct calendar app that was acquired by Microsoft last year. Sunrise is set to go offline yesterday (Sept. 13).

Here's a roundup of the new features you'll find in the new Outlook.

Visual icons: New icons will make it easier to visually scan your agenda. Typing common words like "lunch" or "coffee" will automatically place corresponding icons – like a knife and fork or a coffee mug – next to the event.

Recurring meetings: Outlook now makes it easier to schedule, tweak and cancel recurring meetings. You can set appointments to recur weekly or monthly in a few taps, then edit time, location or attendees. Outlook will ask if you want to apply changes to the individual meeting, or to all future events as well.

Maps: The updated Outlook will make navigating to your next appointment a snap. Anytime you add an event to your calendar, type in the location; the app will suggest addresses to make the process easier. When your event is coming up, just tap the maps icon in the event listing to quickly access turn-by-turn directions. 

Skype integration: It's now easier to schedule video meetings, thanks to new Skype integration in Outlook. When you make a new event, you can mark it as a Skype meeting. When the time comes, you can launch Skype and connect with one type.

Schedules: The new Outlook can connect to a variety of external calendars to provide useful information on the fly. Initially, you'll be able to connect to your favorite sports teams schedule to have events pushed straight into your personal calendar. Microsoft is also planning support for local events, TV show lineups and more.

Brett Nuckles

Brett Nuckles has been a working journalist since 2009. He got his start in local newspapers covering community news, local government, education and more before he joined the Business News Daily staff in 2013. He graduated from Ohio University, where he studied Journalism and English. Follow him on Twitter @BrettNuckles.