Continuing its surprising, but not unwelcome, expansion in to Android, Microsoft‘s Office team has announced the immediate availability of Outlook Web App for Android. But while this rather useful app will let you easily manage your work email and contacts, it has some rather steep requirements that will leave a lot of Android users out in the cold.

The most important requirement is that email accounts that will be used with OWA should be hosted on Office 365 for Business, not Personal, not Home Premium. That is somewhat not surprising considering OWA’s roots come from the enterprise-oriented Microsoft Exchange Server. However, it also won’t work on, formerly known as Hotmail to some, email addresses, though those may come at a later date. Second, it will only work on devices running Android 4.4 and higher and only those that fall under Android’s definition of “small” and “normal” sizes. In other words, OWA only works on smartphones and not on tablets, which matches the compatibility constraints of Microsoft Office Mobile.

Once you manage to meet those requirements, you will be able to take full advantage of everything that the app has to offer, including easy access to Outlook email, Calendar, and People. All using the distinct “Modern” look of Windows apps, of course, and eschewing the usual Android app conventions. In exchange, Microsoft is throwing in a feature that isn’t available on the app’s iOS counterpart. OWA for Android can sync with Android’s native Addressbook framework so that any change you do for that contact on the Android app will be reflected on Outlook and Office 365 for Business as well.

If you use Office 365 for work or pleasure, you can take OWA for Android for a spin. It’s free, as long as you meet the requirements. Do note that it is marked as pre-release, so expect some bugs and major changes along the way.

SOURCE: Microsoft

  • Kenneth

    It’s also not available in every country, hopefully it’s just in early stages of roll out

  • John Grabb

    That is because Android so unbelievably insecure as an OS. Good for Microsoft to recognize that and only have it allowed by CERTAIN Android users

    • gmaninvan

      Troll I see. Explain to me how android is an insecure OS. Android has the most advanced permission system of any mobile OS. It isn’t even close.

      The only reason that Windows Phone and iOS are shown as ‘more secure’ and with ‘less malware’ is because they do so by limiting consumer choice with their app stores. It blows my mind how people don’t seem to get that the ‘app approval’ with their mandatory app stores only serves to limit innovation. On top of that, it gives them a monopoly on their respective platforms in terms of app sales.

      I would much rather read a few permissions before install and have my choice to get my apps anywhere than be locked into MS and Apple ecosystems. Options create choice, choice creates competition, competition creates innovation and more competitive pricing.

      • John Grabb

        You are one of the 1% that check permissions. That is my point, the rest won’t. I am not a troll so nice try

      • gmaninvan

        So you failed to address literally anything I wrote. Some may not check permissions but at least they have a choice where they get their apps.

        Do you know how many times Apple has blocked legitimate apps from their store? Several. On top of that, as an OS, android is physically more secure in numerous ways since iOS has no reason to be due to a controlled environment. ios has however added some excellent security features in the last two releases.

        Google also has app scanning continuously on your device and in the store for nefarious activity. I have never seen a virus on Android and I have been using it for a very long time.

        So, yes, you are a troll. Reasoning being the presentation of a blanket statement with no basis. That is almost the definition of a troll

      • John Grabb

        Nope not a troll. Well written except is ALL the bad press on Android’s security just lies and trolls? There must be something MORE to the problem other than it is the CONSUMERS fault. The usual way out for greedy corporations. You are an android fanboy which Is WAAAY worse than a troll which I am not.

  • jbernardo

    So, Microsoft still can’t follow design guidelines, no wonder this little app will only work on a couple of screen sizes. Oh well, for those poor souls forced to use office 365 for work this might be of some interest. Too bad for the notro ugliness and the lack of flexibility.

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