What you need to know
- Microsoft is working on a lighter, faster version of Outlook on Android.
- The updated app is designed for low-end Android phones, with no significant differences from the main app.
- It is expected to be widely available starting in July.
Technology companies tend to offer a "lite" version of their apps in order to provide a smooth experience on low-end devices, and Microsoft appears to be developing one for its Outlook app for Android.
A Microsoft 365 roadmap entry indicates that a lighter, faster version of Outlook is making its way to many of the best cheap Android phones this month (via Dr. Windows). The app, aptly named "Outlook Lite for Android," will bring the core functionality of the main app to low-end Android phones.
The roadmap's description for Outlook Lite states: "An Android app that brings the main benefits of Outlook in a smaller app size with fast performance for low-end devices on any network."
The app promises to pack improved performance without taking up much storage space. For many apps of this type, such as Facebook Lite and Google Go, this means faster performance at the expense of some features.
However, Dr. Windows noticed that there is no significant difference between Outlook Lite and the core Outlook app, save for one limitation: it only allows you to create a single account type.
Apart from that, the pared-down Outlook app appears to be no less feature-rich than the full-fledged version, except for a minor change. According to a screenshot shared by Dr. Windows, the updated app will have a slightly revamped navigation bar at the bottom. On mobile, the main Outlook app displays three tabs: "Mail," "Search," and "Calendar." Meanwhile, its upcoming lighter version will replace the search tab with "Contacts."
The upcoming rollout of Outlook Lite for Android is a bit odd since an existing app with the same name is already available in a few countries. It's possible that Microsoft plans to release the new, lighter version more broadly.
Android Central has reached out to Microsoft for clarity and will update this article when we receive a response.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.