Outlook Mobile Gains Ability to Create Teams Meetings

Feature Supported in Both Outlook for iOS and Android

Being able to schedule Teams (and Skype for Business) meetings has always been a popular feature in Outlook desktop and OWA. The feature is now supported in the latest builds of Outlook for iOS and Android and turned up in my client this week when I installed build 3.21.0. The feature was originally announced in Message Center update MC173895 on 20 February, and the roll-out was due to start at the beginning of April, so it’s a little delayed.

Outlook Mobile Creates Teams Meetings
Figure 1: Creating a Teams meeting with Outlook for iOS

Outlook mobile and Teams are both on a roll recently. According to data released with Microsoft’s Q3 FY19 earnings, Outlook mobile is used by more than 100 million people. A reasonable proportion of that set are likely found in the more than 500,000 organizations using Teams. Bringing the two apps closer together adds a lot of value, especially in a mobile-first world.

Skype for Business Online Co-Existence Setting is Important

MC175147 issued on March 2 describes how the Skype for Business Online co-existence setting for the tenant affects if Outlook mobile offers the ability to schedule Teams or Skype for Business Online meetings. if the co-existence mode is set to be “Teams Only” or “Skype for Business” with Teams Collaboration and Meetings, you’ll see the option to schedule Teams meetings.

No Tenant Dependency

Unlike Outlook desktop, the Teams client on your mobile doesn’t have to be connected to your home tenant to be able to create a meeting. Outlook mobile can happily create a meeting in your home tenant while the Teams client is connected to a guest account in another Office 365 tenant.

Exploiting the New Outlook Synchronization Technology

Being able to schedule Teams meetings is not dependent on the new Outlook connection/synchronization architecture. My client still connects to Office 365 using the older REST-based synchronization (my Outlook.com account uses the new technology). Given that Outlook.com and Exchange Online share the same infrastructure, it might seem odd that business accounts persist with the older synchronization when a consumer account benefits from the change, especially when some features (like one-click join of Teams meetings from Outlook mobile described in MC175147) depend on clients using the new technology.

Ross Smith IV of Microsoft explained the situation on 12 March in a response posted in the Microsoft Technical Community saying ” For Outlook mobile, major feature deployment operates with a staggered rollout where we begin with consumer accounts (if applicable) and then deploy to commercial accounts like Office 365. Our primary focus for commercial accounts was moving Government Community Cloud. Now that’s complete, we’ll be focusing on the remaining Office 365 tenants.”

You can discover what synchronization is used by Outlook by looking at the properties of an account. If you see “Microsoft Sync Technology” (as circled in Figure 2), you know that Outlook connects using the new architecture.

Outlook for iOS shows that an account uses the new synchronization technology
Figure 2: Outlook for iOS shows that an account uses the new synchronization technology

Like everything else inside Office 365, it’s likely that the deployment of the new Outlook connection architecture varies from datacenter region to region and even from country to country. I’ll look forward to seeing the new synchronization

We cover Outlook mobile among other Office 365 clients in Chapter 10 of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.

7 Replies to “Outlook Mobile Gains Ability to Create Teams Meetings”

    1. Something needs to be provisioned in the background. Be patient!

  1. Hi Tony, hope you can help me! I am using Android, I only see the “Skype Meeting” option. What do i need to check? Thanks.

    1. It all depends on what configuration your account has. I’d check with your admin to make sure that you are set up to use Teams and not Skype.

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