I decided to mess around with Outlook for iOS today, to see if I could talk myself into switching over to that, from the default iOS mail client. Outlook is a pretty snazzy mail client, with lots of interesting features, most of which I don’t need and will probably never use.
There’s one glaring issue with the iPad version of Outlook, and I’m really surprised it hasn’t attracted more attention. Similar to Apple’s mail app, the main view is a list of messages on the left, taking up about a third of the screen, then the contents of the active message on the right. In Apple’s mail app (and in others I’ve tried), you can hide the list of messages, so you can read an email using the full screen width. In Outlook, there doesn’t seem to be any way to hide the message list, so you can only ever use two-thirds of the screen to read your email. I’ve found that there is a way to open a threaded conversation in a pop-up view that uses most of the screen, but there’s no way to do that with a single message that’s not part of a conversation.
I’m not the only one to have noticed this issue, but it hasn’t gotten much attention, from what I can tell. There’s an issue open for it on UserVoice that’s gotten over 4000 votes, but it’s been there for more than a year, so I don’t think it’s something that Microsoft is likely to fix soon.
I may have to go back and listen to the MPU episode on iOS email again. Really, I just want an email client that lets me read my email using the full screen, and has buttons allowing me to move to the previous and next message. That’s not asking for too much, is it?