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Microsoft's mobile apps are getting new features to help you work from anywhere

Outlook and Edge on iOS
Outlook and Edge on iOS (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • A new post from Microsoft outlines several upcoming features for its mobile apps.
  • Outlook will soon utilize conversational AI technology through Cortana.
  • The Office Lens app will soon support short videos for quick sharing within Teams.

Microsoft is adding new features to its mobile apps, including Outlook, Office Lens, Office, and Teams. The new features aim to help people be able to work from anywhere. Microsoft highlights the upcoming improvements in a new post (opens in new tab).

Outlook and Cortana

Outlook Ios Pride

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Outlook on iOS will soon utilize conversational AI technology (opens in new tab) through Cortana. The conversational AI capability will work across your email, calendar, and search, allowing you to manage Outlook with your voice. In a short video (opens in new tab) showing off several features, Microsoft illustrates someone scheduling an appointment, moving it to a different time, and checking who has accepted a meeting invite.

Cortana will learn how you speak, including your grammar, vocal nuances, and dialect. Microsoft's goal is to have Cortana be easier to use and faster than typing on a mobile phone's keyboard.

Office Lens

An upcoming update to Office Lens will add the ability to share short videos in Teams chats. With the updating Office Lens app, you'll be able to record a video, annotate it with text, add filters, and perform other basic edits. Microsoft states that this new functionality should roll out in preview by the end of this quarter.

Office Lens is also gaining the ability to read and transcribe handwritten text. This functionality will roll out first to Office Lens but will eventually also arrive on the Office mobile app.

Office Lens is also getting a new name, and will be known as Microsoft Lens.

Improving text input

Teams Search with Voice

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft Search within Teams and Office mobile will soon support natural language queries in English in the United States. This addition will let you tap a microphone icon to type phrases within a search box. You'll also be able to ask Cortana to search through messages, chats, meetings, people, files, and more.

Other bits and bobs

Microsoft's post also highlights other features that are on the way, like adding polls within Office or Teams and the new Microsoft To Do widget on iOS that's coming this month.

To put a face to its new features, Microsoft's post also includes a video of a theater struggling to share its art during the current global pandemic. The theater's crew uses several Microsoft technologies to find a way to perform virtually.

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

1 Comment
  • Comming to ios but not Android?