New Outlook for Mac beta gets IMAP support and calender widget for macOS Big Sur

Recently, Microsoft released huge updates for Outlook and Excel for users on the Mac Beta Channel. The updates provide new features to test out, including IMAP support, search improvements, and calendar widget for Outlook, while Excel gets new toolbar icons for macros and a new formula Watch Window.

The release notes came out earlier this week, however, the features were rolled out gradually to Mac Beta Channel users between November 19th and December 18th, 2020.

Outlook and Excel updated with new features for beta users

According to Microsoft, here is everything new in Excel:

  • For the Quick Access Toolbar, you can now choose an icon for buttons that are assigned to macros. Go to Excel > Preferences > Ribbon & Toolbar, then go to the Quick Access Toolbar tab, add a macro, and press the gear icon to rename it. You’ll see a gallery of icons to choose from.
  • The formula Watch Window has recently been added to Excel for Mac. If you use “Tell Me,” it wasn’t showing up when you searched for it, and now it will show if you type “watch.”

The capability to choose icons as buttons assigned as macros is a very nice touch that makes Excel look much cleaner.

On the other hand, Outlook has a more meaningful update:

  • IMAP Support – Your IMAP accounts are now supported in the new Outlook! Add your IMAP accounts via Accounts preferences, or for those with IMAP accounts already added in current Outlook, you will be prompted to migrate your account into the new Outlook. Note: support will roll out gradually in Beta Channel over the next few weeks
  • Search – You can now customize your search the way you want and get to what you are looking for faster. Use the search scope selector to pick which folder or mailbox to search from, include or exclude top results and deleted items, to refine your search results
  • Calendar – The new Outlook now supports calendar widgets on macOS Big Sur. The widgets also come in different sizes, so you can pick the one that works best for you

Outlook has become a much more versatile client thanks to IMAP support. IMAP is a popular email protocol, and new Outlook’s lack of IMAP support for its new update made it impossible to switch for a lot of users. Hopefully, users will see IMAP support released for general availability soon.

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Gaming editor at iThinkDiff