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Microsoft announces new features for Office 365 mobile apps to boost productivity

Microsoft Lens will be integrated with Teams, allowing users to record and share short videos through chat. | Picture by special arrangement.  

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Microsoft has announced a number of new enhancements for several of its Office 365 mobile apps to help improve user productivity.

The software giant is bringing ‘conversational AI technology’ to Outlook for iOS with Cortana. The feature will allow users to do regular tasks and actions such as scheduling, adding participants to meeting invitations, and composing messages using their voice.

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The Redmond-based company is mixing human voice inputs with AI to enable its voice assistant to learn about users, their preferences in grammar and recognise their voice nuances, accent, and dialect, it noted in a blog post.

The conversational AI feature with Cortana will be initially available in English for Outlook users on iOS in the U.S. with a Microsoft 365 work account, and will later be expanded to the Android users in the coming months, it added.

Also, Outlook mobile and web users will soon be able to add reactions to emails and conversations.

Teams mobile app allows users to speak into Cortona in English in the U.S., to make calls, send messages and share files. This voice assist feature will also be rolled in Australia, Canada, U.K., and India. But Microsoft did not specify when it will be rolled out.

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In addition, Microsoft Search in Teams and Office mobile is getting support for natural language queries in English in the U.S. Teams users will be able to type phrases in the search box or use Cortana to find messages, chats, meetings, people, and files. Also, people logged in to a work account can use Search in Office mobile to easily find files.

Microsoft Lens will be integrated with Teams, allowing users to record and share short videos through chat. Users will be able to annotate a video with text, emojis, do basic editing, and even add live filters before sharing it. The feature will be available in preview by the end of March, the company said.

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Further, Microsoft Lens will be able to recognise English handwritten texts, enabling users to scan and convert content from whiteboards, letters, to-do lists, and notes, into text. This enhancement will be rolled out on the Lens app first and then in Office mobile in a future release, according to Microsoft.

The Redmond-based company has also optimised the Office app for iPad. It will allow people to use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint through a single app, as well as create content with the camera, sign PDFs, take notes, collaborate, and multitask. The optimised app will be available in the App Store, in mid-February, the company noted.


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 7:57:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/microsoft-announces-new-features-for-office-365-mobile-apps-to-boost-productivity/article33792916.ece

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