OK, I finally got a useful answer from a higher level of support. I reported a
few times that I couldn't set up my personal Outlook.com email account in the
Outlook mobile app for iOS because it kept telling me my email address or
password were wrong. I have 2-step verification turned on for this account and
was under the impression I had to use a so-called app specific password which
you get by logging onto to your Microsoft account and you generate these app
specific passwords in the security settings area. I should add that with the
native iOS Mail app you do have to use one of these. Anyhow, this second level
support person told me that Outlook fully supports 2-step authentication and
all I had to do is use my email address, the normal password for my account and
at that point the app asked me for the 6-digit security code generated by my
authenticator app. I use the app Authy for this so I left the Outlook account
setup screen, opened up Authy, checked which passcode it gave me (they always
are valid for a period of 30 seconds before they expire and a new code is
given) and I then went back to Outlook and typed it in. After that all was
well, my Outlook.com email now works as does my business email which is an
exchange account via Office 365 for business.
There is definitely also no longer any problem with typing text into the
message body of an email and being able to review it. I would say at this point
Outlook seems fully accessible.
Threads are handled differently in Outlook, it's a bit hard to explain and I
don't have the time right now to do so, but it's all accessible.
One nice feature is that if you tap on the files tab you get a list of all
available email attachments and of course you have access to your OneDrive
folder and, if you set it up, you can also connect your Dropbox, Google Drive
and other storage accounts.
One thing I have not figured out yet, if it is in fact possible is whether you
can add/edit contacts. There is the "People" tab which shows me all the
contacts from my business and personal email accounts, but I can't seem to find
any place where I can edit them or add or delete contacts.
All in all Outlook is a good app and very accessible, it has more
functionality in some ways but I find it also requires a few more steps and
taps to accomplish certain things. One thing I really like with the native mail
app is how I can customize which mailboxes I see right away, in Outlook you can
get to your Inbox easily, there is an All Mail option you can turn on which
then shows you all your mail from any accounts you set up in a unified Inbox,
but as far as I can tell you don't have the option for an Unread mailbox or to
stick a particular folder right on your list of mailboxes. I am, for example,
subscribed to the Woodworking for the Blind mailing list and I set up a filter
so all messages that come from that list go into a mailbox I set up for this.
In the native Mail app I can put this mailbox right underneath my Inbox even
though it's hidden 3 levels down in my mail folders.
I am currently using the native Mail app for my personal Outlook.com email
address and I have both my business email and personal email set up in Outlook,
so basically I am duplicating the personal email address. I'll use it for a
while side by side, but as much as I like Outlook for certain features, I still
like the iOS Mail app for it's simplicity and as far as I am concerned I
actually like this new thread/conversation feature where you use the Messages
rotor option to flick through a conversation.
Anybody who thinks they would like to try Outlook should do so, the nice thing
is that you can set it up and still continue the native mail app and you can
then compare and decide for yourself if it's for you or not. But as I said,
it's definitely fully accessible and a valid alternative at this point. One
other thing I must say for this particular support team is that the response
time if you send a support request via the Help and Feedback option in Settings
is nothing less than astonishing. I usually have received replies within hours
and sometimes minutes after sending in a question or replied to an existing
support issue. It's like a chat thing where you see your initial request and
all their responses and your responses, very nice.
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