Removes Need for IMAP4 Workaround
Office 365 notification MC181641 posted on June 5 includes the good news that Outlook mobile (iOS and Android) will soon support connections to Exchange Online shared mailboxes. This will remove the need for the IMAP4 connection currently used as a workaround to access shared mailboxes. Apart from the general kludginess of the IMAP4 workaround, if you log onto a shared mailbox with IMAP4., that mailbox should technically have an Office 365 license.
The development also addresses a huge feature gap that Microsoft has acknowledged to exist for years. This update relates to Office 365 Roadmap items 32571 (iOS) and 32572 (Android) and not the two listed in the announcement.
The announcement says: “You will be able read, write and send emails from the Exchange Online Shared Mailboxes in Outlook for iOS and Android. If you are part of the Office Insider program for iOS and using the Microsoft sync technology (MC165218), you will be able get an early preview of the capabilities via TestFlight this week. It is anticipated that we will start to roll out Shared Mailboxes in Outlook for iOS and Android (using Microsoft sync technology) for general availability in the next several weeks.”
In other words, expect to see shared mailbox support appear in July 2019. That is, if support for the Microsoft Sync Technology is deployed to your Office 365 tenant. To check, look at the settings for your account (Figure 1), or use the PowerShell script in this article.
Microsoft Sync Technology is the new connection protocol for Outlook mobile clients that Microsoft has deployed to Outlook.com and the Government Cloud (GCC) and is now rolling out to commercial tenants. Hopefully, the advent of shared mailbox support serves as a spur for Microsoft to complete the deployment of the new sync technology.
Updated Files, Calendar Events in Search, and Calendar Sync
Microsoft includes some other updates in MC181641. These are:
- Updated Files: The way Outlook mobile presents files will become more coherent with the rest of Office 365 and include a list of recently used files plus cloud sources (like OneDrive for Business or Google Drive). You’ll be able to add a link to share a file that complies with default tenant sharing permissions.
- Calendar Events in Search: When you search for someone or use a keyword, the results returned will include any matching events found in your calendar. This feature also depends on Microsoft Sync Technology.
- Calendar Sync: Outlook for Android now supports syncing calendar events from the native calendar app. This is a one-way sync and Microsoft says that the ability to sync from Outlook to local calendar apps is still in development.
Lots Happening in Mobile
Mobile apps tend to evolve quickly. Outlook mobile is no different. These changes, particularly shared mailbox support, will make many people very happy.
Need more information about Outlook clients? Or Office 365 clients in general? We have a complete chapter on the topic in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.