Today, Microsoft announced that it will be launching its new Outlook for Mac app in October. And, when it arrives, it will have a major design refresh to go along with it. As you can see from the image above, that design is definitely inspired by macOS 11 Big Sur. The company revealed the new app’s design in a press release.
Future users will be able to activate the new design with a designated toggle. The app will also support light and dark modes on the desktop operating system. Being able to quickly toggle the look of the app will probably be a welcomed addition for Outlook users.
With the new Outlook for Mac, we have reimagined the experience that you know and love, bringing even more power and simplicity to the product. Re-designed from ground up and available via a toggle – the new Outlook for Mac connects to accounts using Microsoft sync technology for enhanced performance and reliability, with functionality that showcases the best of Outlook.
Microsoft wants Outlook to feel like a native experience, no matter which OS you’re using it on. As such, the Mac app is “crafted specifically” for the Mac and macOS Big Sur. As such, many of the elements of the new Mac app are inspired by Big Sur.
One of the Outlook design principles is to make Outlook feel native to your preferred operating environment. The new Outlook for Mac has been crafted specifically for the Mac, including the latest macOS Big Sur. You will find rounded corners in the buttons, message list, and conversation pane that are influenced by Big Sur. The light, airy design utilizes white surfaces for increased contrast on text and icons. This helps Outlook feels natural on the OS while still nesting well with elements from Microsoft’s design language. We wanted you to feel at home while using Outlook for Mac without sacrificing what makes Outlook, well, Outlook.
There are a range of customizable settings for the Mac app, including the main mail canvas, the message list, calendar, and more. That includes being able to drag-and-drop certain elements to be moved around, and marking people as favorites. Microsoft notes that even the app’s toolbar is customizable.
The My Day pane and the sidebar can also be tweaked by the user:
The sidebar and My Day panes have modifiable views based on your preferences that allow you to easily adjust your focus to be at your most productive. My Day lets you choose what calendars you want to see and take action right in the pane, such as joining a meeting or sending an RSVP. For additional updates to the calendar, we have introduced a new 3-day view setting that helps you concentrate on your schedule a few days at a time.
Microsoft is upgrading the “people experience” as well, which will now include more integration with the company’s Teams service.
We have added a brand-new People experience to bring your valued contacts and connections to a focused, dedicated place that is easy to access and manage. People view helps you separate your contacts and colleagues from your messages and events by providing a central place to manage and explore those you collaborate with often. Whether they are someone you need to follow up with or an important coworker, you can add notes to their contact information, start a Teams chat with them, or mark them as a favorite contact – all within the focused People view.
Interestingly, Apple has not said when macOS 11 Big Sur will launch. The company has only stated so far it will arrive “this fall”. Microsoft, meanwhile, says the new Outlook app for Mac will launch sometime in “mid-October”. So that may be when we can expect to see Big Sur arrive for supported Macs as well.
What do you think of the new Outlook experience for Mac? Will you be using it?