I recently started using the Outlook Mail App for iOS in an effort to move to a better email client on my iPhone. Lately, I have been a little annoyed with the Apple Mail app and its poor integration with Apple Notes, calendar, and contacts on my iOS device.

I started using OneNote and Outlook For iOS to make for a better experience on my device. For now, we will focus on just the Outlook Mail App. I should first mention that I use Gmail as my primary mail account and I am not a huge fan of the Gmail app.

I started by setting up my Gmail account in the Outlook Mail App which was very easy to do and took less than a minute. The Outlook Mail App first asks for your email address, you then get taken to the Gmail page to enter your password for security. You must go through the typical security checks as with all Google services allowing the Outlook Mail App permissions to access your Mail, Contacts, Drive, and Calendar.  I like how the Outlook App is smart enough to pick up the IMAP settings and sync up the contacts and calendar with no user intervention making for a good experience from the start with the app.

You then must make the decision on how you want your iPhone to handle the notifications like in all apps on Apple iOS. I choose to let mine come up on my screen but not get the noise, I was afraid it would wake me up in the middle of the night and I need my sleep.

When you first open the Outlook Mail App you first notice that you have your regular inbox and focused inbox presented to you. I went into the settings area by clicking on the gear in the bottom right-hand corner of the app and turning off the Focused Inbox. In the settings, you can add your favorite calendar apps to Outlook like Evernote or Facebook. You can also in settings add additional accounts, download more office apps, adjust notification setting, adjust mail organization and change a few other small settings that you may find useful.

Once you exit settings you are back on the main screen of the Outlook Mail App. The layout is what I love most about Outlook the app is basically four apps in one. I can read my email, check my calendar, get contact information, and check my Google Drive without ever having to leave the app and open up another like you need to do with any of the Apple apps I mentioned earlier.

If you do not have Google Drive when you click under the files tab on the app you can pick from many of the popular cloud storage services like OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Box or Dropbox. I find this open architecture interesting Microsoft which used to be very closed sourced is now willing to work with other companies to make a better product this is a huge culture shift for Microsoft as a company. Integrating other email providers, cloud storage companies, and calendar companies into their app is a huge change in their leadership for the better at Microsoft.

When it comes to contacts in Outlook Mail App the organization aspect is incredible and real selling point. For example, if you click on a contact you get the info for that contact (name, address, email, etc.) then if you click on mail from this contact you can view all the email you ever got just from that contact. When you click on events you can see all the events for just that contact and when you click on files you see all the files that contact has ever sent you via email the layout of contacts is very well done.

I would honestly say Outlook Mail App For iOS is the best mail app for iOS it’s better than the Gmail App, Apple Mail or any other competitor in the app store. Microsoft did what it does best make great Microsoft Office software for all platforms.