Microsoft is adding new features to its mobile apps, including Outlook, Office Lens, Office, and Teams. The new features aim to help people be able to work from anywhere. Microsoft highlights the upcoming improvements in a new post.
Outlook and Cortana
Outlook on iOS will soon utilize conversational AI technology through Cortana. The conversational AI capability will work across your email, calendar, and search, allowing you to manage Outlook with your voice. In a short video showing off several features, Microsoft illustrates someone scheduling an appointment, moving it to a different time, and checking who has accepted a meeting invite.
Cortana will learn how you speak, including your grammar, vocal nuances, and dialect. Microsoft’s goal is to have Cortana be easier to use and faster than typing on a mobile phone’s keyboard.
An upcoming update to Office Lens will add the ability to share short videos in Teams chats. With the updating Office Lens app, you’ll be able to record a video, annotate it with text, add filters, and perform other basic edits. Microsoft states that this new functionality should roll out in preview by the end of this quarter.
Office Lens is also gaining the ability to read and transcribe handwritten text. This functionality will roll out first to Office Lens but will eventually also arrive on the Office mobile app.
Improving text input
Microsoft Search within Teams and Office mobile will soon support natural language queries in English in the United States. This addition will let you tap a microphone icon to type phrases within a search box. You’ll also be able to ask Cortana to search through messages, chats, meetings, people, files, and more.
Other bits and bobs
Microsoft’s post also highlights other features that are on the way, like adding polls within Office or Teams and the new Microsoft To Do widget on iOS that’s coming this month.
To put a face to its new features, Microsoft’s post also includes a video of a theater struggling to share its art during the current global pandemic. The theater’s crew uses several Microsoft technologies to find a way to perform virtually.
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