Redesigned Outlook is Microsoft’s answer to latest Gmail update

In an attempt to catch up with Google’s Gmail, which underwent a huge redesign recently, Microsoft recently announced its own updates for Outlook. The focus is on smarter features that will help users to save time.

The updates include new components for the Outlook mobile app and changes to mail and calendar.

A rather useful new feature is the ability to create reminders for bill payments. Outlook will scan emails for bills and automatically create calendar events – and remind you two days before the due date.

The new Outlook also allows for improved management of meeting rooms and locations, including suggestions on when you should leave for a meeting. The context-aware and location features enable it to learn from the user’s meeting preferences, and then suggest locations that follow these habits.

Outlook calendar’s attendees and RSVP tracking have also been enhanced. You can now keep track of responses after a meeting, whether you arranged them or not, and decide whether you should attend.

The privacy enhancement feature can stop other people from forwarding information about a specific meeting if you want to control who should attend.

The new Outlook also offers support for multiple time zones.

Outlook will now attempt to stop you from replying to an email in which you are a BCC recipient to prevent potentially uncomfortable situations.

The Outlook apps for mobile now offer a couple of handy features, including favourite people and syncing draft folders across different devices. Both platforms will soon also offer support for a single Office 365 account in Outlook.