Outlook for iPhone and iPad

I have a split personality.

Personality One is clearly obedient, structured, and not particularly adventurous. This Eric uses Microsoft products; Outlook is home base, Word and Excel just get stuff done. I'm particularly loyal to these products because - despite what any number of Apple Fanboys want you to believe - they are the gold standard of office tools. You can say what you will about their cost or usability, but I (and millions like Personality One) find them incredibly powerful. 

Personality Two is rebellious, disorderly, and spontaneous. This Eric uses an iPhone and iPad (with the ClamCase keyboard) and will try ANY app with the slightest hint of being useful. Apps sold as the "solution to all your problems" are rarely the answer...but the ones that do are gold. You can say what you will about the cost and business use of an iPhone and iPad, but I (and millions like Personality Two) find them invaluable in my personal and business life.

Well, good news is here: Outlook has come to the iPhone and iPad. A few months ago, tired of using Mail, Contacts, and Calendar for iOS I tried an app by the name of Acompli which promised to combine the three seamlessly. According to one source, Microsoft had purchased Acompli and was planning to - in typical Microsoft 'acquire instead of recreate' fashion, launch it as their own.

What I learned

My experience with Acompli was not what I wished it to be. Yes, it was nice going to one app for three purposes, but the polish of the Mail, Contacts, and Calendar simply wasn't there. I deleted the app and went back to the Apple offerings, tail between my legs.

I received a Word doc via email the other day and tried to open it. I quickly realized I'd never installed the iPhone version of Word...which I promptly did. In the process of installing it, I realized Microsoft had quietly launched Outlook for iOS so I quickly installed it.

What Acompli lacked in polish and functionality has been resolved with the release of Outlook for iOS. I had problems with calendar and contact syncing in Acompli that Microsoft - not surprisingly - was able to resolve. Even better than Apple's offering, you can easily connect cloud storage services Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Box enabling you to easily attach documents to your mobile emails, a feat that was once less than smooth.

Finally, two personalities come together in one app. If you've been quietly suffering with Mail, Contacts, and Calendar, I highly recommend giving Outlook for iOS a try!