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Written by Richard Quatier

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Categories: Outlook

April 23, 2020

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Updated Feature: Outlook mobile updates the Search experience

MC208100, Stay Informed, Published date: Mar 30, 2020


Microsoft is rolling out a number of updates to the search experience in Outlook for iOS and Android. These changes provide helpful ways to find email, people, events, and files faster and easier with more relevant results.

The updates are related to these Microsoft 365 Roadmap IDs:

  • Actionable calendar search answers in iOS 55044 and Android 60856
  • Meeting Insights in Outlook for iOS Search home page in iOS 61149
  • Natural language search iOS 56821 and Android 56822
  • Search deleted folders in Android 58990 
  • Speller in iOS 56819 and Android 59023
  • Suggested contacts and actionable search answers in iOS 53714 and Android 53122
  • Tabbed results in iOS 53118
  • Tasks from To Do in Search 58137
  • Top results in iOS 53120 and Android 53299

These changes will gradually roll out over the coming weeks and will take several weeks to reach all intended audiences.How does this affect me?

1. The keyword search experience in Outlook for Android now includes information from the deleted folder, as it does in Outlook for iOS.

2. Rolling out in the coming weeks for iOS and Android:

  • To further enable hands free activities, Outlook for iOS and Android will support Microsoft Search with natural language processing. Use manual keyboard entry or the new microphone icon in the Search bar to speak the query using everyday language.
  • Should users not type a keyword correctly or the search query is not pulling up relevant results, Outlook may ask if they intended to search for a different keyword. In the background Outlook will fetch results based on assumed intent and will correct spelling or typing errors in the suggested alternative keyword.

Option to search based on suggested spelling for a misspelled keyword

3. Rolling out at the end of April for iOS and Android

  • When users search for a person and include a specific intention (such as “John’s address” or “Megan’s phone number”), results will include an actionable response such as providing a tappable email address or phone number, thus eliminating the need to seek out full contact details (contact card).
phone number search

Actionable search answers for contact information in Outlook for iOS

  • Similarly, if users search for a specific calendar event, the results will include quick actions, such as RSVPEdit RSVP, or Join an online meeting. 

Actionable search answers for calendar events in Outlook for Android

  • When users search for contacts who are in Azure Active Directory, the results page displays a small image of the person to make it easier to identify the intended contact. When searching for a contact by name (without a specific intention such as call), Outlook for iOS and Android will suggest relevant people based on Office 365 interactions.
  • Outlook mobile will feature the top three curated keyword search results at the top of the search results screen, which is how Microsoft Search works in Outlook for Windows and Outlook on the web.

4. Rolling out at the end of April for iOS only

In Outlook for iOS, keyword search results will be grouped (tabbed) by email, contacts and events. 

The Outlook for iOS Search home page will include two new sections.

  1. To Do features the top three tasks from the user default tasks list. This includes tasks created in Outlook for Windows and Mac. It provides quick access if a user wants to do more than mark a task as complete.
  2. This week for you features meetings that are coming up this week along with meeting Insights that provides quick access to the email conversations and files you’ll need to be prepared.
search home page

This Week for You and To Do are new sections in the proactive Search home screen in Outlook for iOSWhat do I need to do to prepare for this change?

If you have in-house documentation, you may want it to update it to reflect the changes in Search in Outlook.

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