I Didn’t Believe Microsoft’s New Email App Could Be Better Than Gmail — I Was Completely Wrong

Earlier today, I read Steve Kovach’s post on Microsoft’s new Outlook email app for iOS.

To put it mildly, he was a fan, raving about the app’s sync capabilities and ease of use. He even went so far as to say that he deleted his Gmail app after just five minutes of using Microsoft’s new little slice of app heaven.

I was sceptical. Generally, the thoughts that come to mind when I find out Microsoft is making a new product can mostly be summed up in “disappointed” and “shrug” emojis.

Rarely, however, do I see Steve Kovach so revved up himself about such a product — so I decided to give it a shot.

Close the book. I’m calling this one for Microsoft … by a landslide.

This app is so good. I too have made the admittedly simple decision to send my iOS Gmail app spiraling back into the App Store whence it came.

Here’s why the Outlook app crushes Gmail:

It’s WAY WAY faster.

My Gmail app for iOS has gotten ridiculously slow over the past year. Not to mention very buggy. It takes forever to open (oh, those mesmerising circles endlessly folding over each other), and often takes what seem like eons to switch between accounts, enter settings, and to do just about anything else.

Why bother? Because with the Gmail app you have an app native to its provider. That gives you easy archive access and none of those IMAP sync problems you often get with built in email clients like Apple’s own Mail app.

Forget all of this nonsense in the Outlook app. This thing is fast as can be. Switching between accounts, selecting messages, moving them — this is all incredibly fast and easy.

Here’s what the Inbox looks like:

Outlook Inbox

The speed may be reason alone to shift, but there are plenty more.

For example, it integrates your Gmail calendar perfectly. In fact it may be the slickest way to manage your calendar on iOS altogether.

If you want to attach a file to an email, Outlook boasts seamless compatibility with Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox.

Similar to the popular Mailbox app for iOS, you can swipe messages left or right to perform certain actions on messages and get them out of your hair momentarily. Swipe right to archive, and swipe left to schedule. And once you do swipe left, you have some options:

Outlook timing

I also find that I enjoy the back-to-basics preview window view for messages. The Gmail app has this but it’s not as intuitive, as you can swipe it away and return to your inbox list. That sounds good, but the app is so slow and inefficient that it’s just confusing in the end. This simpler approach just makes for a better experience.

There’s also a tab on the bottom called “People” which is simple but makes so much sense! Gmail can’t compete with this. You click it, and there are your contacts, with recent selections first. A simple concept, but one that’s ignored in other apps.

People Outlook

In the end, it’s really the speed and load efficiency that tips the scale to Outlook, but the comparison is not even close.

If you’ve been frustrated with using the Gmail app on iPhone, Microsoft has your solution, download it now.