Microsoft Outlook for iOS – pros and cons

Written on 26 January 2016, 03:20pm

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After one month and a half with GMail Inbox, I decided to try another iOS email app: Microsoft Outlook. Below the impressions.


1. Sometimes there is a mismatch between the real GMail inbox and what Outlook shows in its Inbox. It’s probably caused by the snoozed emails mechanism not working properly. I’ll explain: as the other GMail clients (Mailbox, Inbox gy GMail), Outlook snoozed the emails by moving them to a folder called ‘Scheduled’ (btw – ‘snoozed’ sounds much more intuitive than ‘scheduled’ and I’ll use this name below). But sometimes, when I schedule an email, Outlook only applies the label ‘Scheduled’ to the email, but it does not move it away from the inbox. Moreover, the email can no longer be found in Outlook: not in inbox, not in All mail, not in Scheduled; it can only be found if I run a search.
A glitch that will be probably be solved, but an annoying one.

2. Just like in Inbox by GMail, the snooze options are quite poor (few hours, this evening, tomorrow morning, manual choice); I cannot change the hour of the evening/morning, I cannot snooze to location (got used to this feature from Inbox by GMail)

3. The snoozed emails (in the Scheduled folder) are sorted in a way that I don’t understand and worse, I cannot change. I would like to see them sorted by the time they are supposed to come back in the inbox.

4. The interface is too cluttered for my taste. There is a lot of redundant/useless information:
I don’t need to see my email address on top of every interface, I don’t need the filters option to take up a whole line, I don’t need the number of conversations, I don’t need the ‘files’ and ‘people’ tabs. There should be toggles to show/hide these options, but apparently they don’t aim for a minimalist interface.

5. The system messages are shown in the bottom part, which is particularly annoying when you pull to refresh or when you are looking for the ‘Undo’ button.

6. Mismatch between number of emails shown in the folders count and in the actual folder view. See screenshot below, where Outlook reports 8 scheduled emails, but in fact there are only 5 scheduled conversations containing 11 emails.


1. Customizable swipes
2. Good calendar functionality (which is important, knowing that Sunrise will be sunset)
3. Dropbox integration
4. Nice looking font and folders menu
5. Easy to select emails (long press)
6. Undo functionality




Scheduled emails – different numbers:

Overall, Microsoft Outlook has a few nice features, it looks slightly better than GMail Inbox, but it still has a few bugs to squash and it does not seem to be designed for the minimalist people aiming for Inbox zero 🙂

Update, 2/2/2016: After more than two weeks of struggling with Outlook, I ultimately decided that it’s time to move on. I was annoyed with the way it handles the scheduled emails (leading to constant mismatch between Outlook and GMail inbox), the lack of customization and the slow pace.
So, time to move on to Spark. First impression is awesome 🙂

Quiet instant notifications

Written on 23 November 2011, 04:47pm

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I recently came across an article against instant notifications on the mobile devices:

You receive a new message, say an email or a tweet, and at that very moment your software decides to do something stupid. A little red bubble appears over its icon. A ringing bell is heard. Sometimes even the message itself will pop up over your screen announcing its arrival and inviting you to read it.
Is it not rude to disturb people? Does the software assume you were sitting there doing absolutely nothing, just waiting for that update? Not only does it decide to disturb you, it does it in the most forceful way it possibly can, using every weapon at its disposal: sounds, colors and animations.

I must say that I do not fully agree with this view. And the main reason is that the reason why these notifications pop up on your screen is you. It’s you who allowed Twitter to send you notifications, it’s you who set up the push/fetch email, so you cannot really complain about that. You have the power to enable them, as well as turn them down.
But what I would like to have is a mechanism to shut down all the notifications. (more…)