Microsoft Outlook Can Now Send Text Messages on Android

Microsoft Outlook for Android is a full-featured email and calendar application, but there’s also Outlook Lite for lower-end devices. The latter app is now adding an interesting feature: SMS text messaging support.

Outlook Lite is a modified version of the Outlook app built for lower-end devices and less reliable network connections, with a few missing features and custom tweaks compared to the full Outlook experience. Microsoft announced in a blog post that Outlook Lite can now function as an SMS client, allowing it to display, send, and receive text messages using your phone number.

Text messages are accessible from the new “SMS” tab in Outlook Lite, and just like with your email inbox, it organizes messages into categories like Personal and Promotions. Microsoft said in a blog post, “SMS is integrated with your email, calendar, and contacts, so you can stay in touch with your contacts in one app.”

The current integration isn’t all that integrated with the rest of Outlook: it’s just all your SMS messages in a different tab. However, Microsoft did say it’s working on better integration with email and calendar, cloud backup of messages, and “enhanced security features.” It would be interesting to see a unified inbox with both email and SMS messages, but that might not work well in reality.

Screenshot of SMS messages in Outlook Lite

It’s worth noting that this SMS integration won’t work with messages sent and received over RCS. The newer RCS technology used by Google Messages and a few other apps doesn’t have an open API, so apps like Outlook can’t access RCS messages like they can with SMS. The new integration also isn’t available in the regular Outlook app, and it’s not clear if it will ever arrive on that version.

Interestingly, Outlook Lite is adding SMS integration after other popular messaging apps dropped it. Facebook Messenger removed SMS integration in September 2023, after previously allowing people to see their SMS conversations alongside messages sent through Facebook. Signal Messenger started removing SMS support in 2022, citing confusion with users and a lack of encryption support.

You can download Outlook Lite from the Google Play Store. It is only available on Android devices, not iPhones and iPads.

Source: Outlook Blog

Source link

Previous articleNYT Strands today — hints, answers and spangram for Wednesday, May 29 (game #87)
Next articleI review tech for a living, and these are the 45+ best Memorial Day deals I’ve found on Apple, Beats, Bose and more