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Mobile Apps

Microsoft rolls out Outlook email app for Apple Watch

The new app is part of Microsoft's ongoing goal of expanding its software to other platforms beyond Windows.

outlook-apple-watch.jpg
Microsoft has ported its Outlook app to the Apple Watch. Microsoft

Microsoft has cooked up a version of its Outlook email app for the Apple Watch.

Launched on Thursday, the latest version of Outlook for iOS supports the Apple Watch with several useful features. You can glance at your email, receive notifications of new email and use preset replies to respond to an email.

Though Microsoft sells its own smartwatch -- the Microsoft Band -- the company has been eager to support the Apple Watch as well as smartwatches that use Google's Android Wear mobile OS for wearables. Microsoft already offers such apps as PowerPoint, OneDrive, Skype and Translator for both the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices. The strategy is part of Microsoft's goal of expanding its software and services beyond just Windows in an attempt to win over more customers.

And the Apple Watch can also use all the apps it can get. Apps are the key to the success of a mobile device, be it a smartphone, a tablet or a smartwatch. The Apple Watch has access to around 8,500 apps, Apple CEO Tim Cook boasted in late July. That's up from around 3,500 during the device's initial launch three months prior. But the Watch also needs more apps that can work independently without needing to communicate with a paired smartphone. And that's a goal Apple is trying to achieve with version 2.0 of the Apple Watch OS.

"This new version will have great new capabilities and bring native apps right to your wrist," Cook said in June.

In the meantime, the new Outlook app for the Apple Watch offers users three key features as touted in Microsoft's description:

1. Get a quick glance of what's happening in your Outlook Inbox or what's next in your calendar just by swiping up from the Watch face.

2. Need more context? Catch up with unread emails during your busy day right from the Outlook Watch App. When it's really urgent, just reply directly from your watch with the set of replies we've pre-written just for you. We also have emojis and voice dictation if you're more that kind of person.

3. Never miss what's really important to you. Get notified of important emails and take action immediately thanks to our custom notifications. Archive that. Schedule this for later. It's easy as 1, 2, 3.

And for those of you who use the Outlook app but don't have an Apple Watch, Microsoft promised "plenty of cool new features coming your way very soon."

(Via The Verge)