If you’re using Office 365, Outlook Web Access or OWA is a free way to get Outlook on your iPad and iPhone, so you can sync mail, contacts and calendars across all your devices, even if your in-house systems are PC based.
What is it?
OWA is Microsoft’s official app for syncing Office 365 with your iOS device of choice. You install it on your iPad or iPhone, sign in with your Office 365 login, and your mail, contacts and calendars should load automatically. If you’ve been using the browser-based version of Outlook, OWA includes all the functionality you’re used to, but incorporates new features that make the best possible use of your mobile device, such as voice control.
How does it work?
OWA simply applies your Office 365 permissions to your iOS device, syncs all the data in your account and integrates it with apps like Bing Maps, Scheduling Assistant and Siri. Your in-house tech team can manage any OWA accounts associated with the company using the Exchange Administrator Centre, just as they would for any other account. From there they can ensure that the same permissions apply on the device as in the office, and remotely wipe the app from devices that are lost, stolen, or kept by employees who leave the organisation. Microsoft have a great blog outlining the key features of OWA here.
Who is it for?
Anyone who wants to take Outlook with them when they leave the office, rather than relying on third party apps or browser-based apps, which often have limited functionality.
What’s our favourite feature?
Using the OWA app rather than the browser-based version of Outlook means that you get access to some useful offline features, which will even work when your device is in flight mode. You can read, flag, delete, compose and reply to messages without connecting to the internet, as well as editing your contact list and calendar. If you’re flying back from a conference and want to catch up with the office or add your new contacts ahead of time, this is definitely the feature that’ll you appreciate most.
How much is it and where do you get it?
OWA is available free from iTunes as long as you have an Office 365 licence. You can get an Office 365 licence here.
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By Liz Sunter