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OWA mobile apps to be retired in May

Today we are announcing the retirement of OWA for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For the last several years Microsoft has focused on delivering an effortless user experience and bolstering security in the native Outlook app for iOS and Android devices.  We’ve used your feedback to make Outlook an award-winning app and the best way to experience Office 365 features on a mobile device.  Now we’re helping all users to migrate to Outlook while retiring the OWA mobile apps:  

 

  • In April 2018, the OWA for iPhone, iPad and Android apps will no longer be available for download from Apple’s iTunes store and the Google Play store.
  • Also in April, OWA mobile app users will see a recurring in-app message notifying them of the date when the app will be retired, with a link to download Outlook for iOS or Android.
  • On May 15, 2018, the OWA mobile apps will stop working. Office 365 users who attempt to open them will be greeted with a message directing them to download Outlook for iOS or Android.

It is easy for users to move over to the Outlook app for iOS or Android.  To learn how, see the step by step instructions here. If you are an Office 365 administrator and received a notice today in the Office 365 Message Center, it means one or more people in your organization are still using the OWA mobile app.  If you don’t receive a notice in Message Center, then you don’t need to take any administrative action.  Should you need additional details and support regarding the retirement plans of the OWA mobile apps, please refer to this article.

 

Outlook for iOS and Android has an architecture fully powered by the Microsoft Cloud and has 4.5+ star ratings in the app stores.  And as we streamline our mobile portfolio, we’ll be able to further focus our efforts to deliver on our promise of the best-in-class, enterprise-grade mail, calendar and search experience and the best way to experience Office 365 features on a mobile device with Outlook.

59 Comments
Anonymous
Not applicable

> best-in-class, enterprise-grade mail

 

... which doesn’t even offer an option to block remote images?  Sounds more like consumer-grade trash.

 

Is there a timeline, for when the Microsoft cloud does not save passwords for my users anymore? This is the main reason keeping us away from Outlook for iOS ....

Contributor

Outlook app can't approve emails. Only reason I use OWA.

Contributor

Is there any way we can tell who is using the OWA app in our tenant either via reports or Powershell?

Frequent Visitor

This is such an unnecessary one-sided action by Microsoft. 

I use OWA, and many others,  because I don't want any email notifications or Unread Message icons (I read emails when I want and not some app)  

Second reason is that I don't want my device to be subject to every orgs security policy I need to read emails from (sometimes 3 or 4). 

 

Occasional Visitor

Because its not possible to add shared mailboxes in the native Outlook app we advice users to use this OWA app.

 

Please first add support for shared mailboxes in the native Outlook app before retiring this OWA app.

Frequent Contributor

When will Outlook app support 3rd party Calendar add-ins that are setup on the Exchange server?  It's on uservoice already.

New Contributor

Will Outlook Mobile App be enabled to Access On Premises Shared Mailboxes? The OWA App is the only tool with the ability to do that. It´s not possible to access Exchange 2016 Shared Mailboxes with the Outlook App as Exchange 2016 works only with WAP 2016 and WAP 2016 does not support IMAP.  

Frequent Visitor

Yes, it is possible to have an Outlook app usage report via are PS.

Occasional Contributor

@Eugenie Burrage - are the users of the OWA app exposed via any of the canned reports or reporting API?  I was able to see how we'd get that information so we could send targeted emails to our users.

 

This should be a prerequisite before retiring any service/app.

Microsoft
@Philipp Bieber - Some time ago, Outlook for iOS and Android did rely on a caching service to connect to Exchange Online via Exchange ActiveSync with basic authentication. However, since September 2016, this is no longer possible. All Outlook for iOS and Android for Exchange Online mailbox communication is done via the Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL), so users sign in directly to Azure Active Directory (AAD) with no credential caching, like other Office desktop and mobile clients. For more information, see https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt465746(v=exchg.150).aspx
New Contributor

What about the Government tenants?  Will the native Outlook app finally be secure enough so we can use it?

 

 

(Edit: Was released on April 3rd.  Seems to be functioning properly.)

New Contributor

Agree with @Sven Mihály-Bison, BA, the only reason I've directed some users to use OWA is for monitoring Exchange Online Shared Mailboxes.  Please provide an alternative before retiring the app. 

Microsoft

@Douglas Plumley @Sergei Jemeljanov @Scott Preston  

 

Exchange administrators can use Exchange Management Shell to identify OWA mobile app users;

 

PS C:\windows\system32> get-mobiledevice -OWAforDevices | fl UserDisplayName,DeviceType,DeviceUserAgent,FirstSyncTime

 

 

 

Regular Contributor

@Eugenie Burrage ; @Ross Smith IV

 
 

 

I need to know how my users should access shared mailboxes on mobile devices without OWA.

 

I need to know how my Admins should approve emails on mobile devices.

 

I also need to know how my users whom are not enrolled in Intune should access their mailbox now? This was our only alternative to forcing BYOD devices into MDM enrollment, and you are taking that feature away without providing a replacement it seems.

 

PLEASE STOP DEPRICATING FUNCTIONALITY WITHOUT PROVIDING AN ALTERNATIVE! WE PAY FOR THESE FEATURES.

 

Microsoft

@Robert Woods - Users can still log into to OWA via the mobile web browser and get the same experience the OWA for devices app provided. 

 

If you follow the steps in https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2013/09/04/configuring-delegate-access-in-outlook-web-app/ using a desktop browser, OWA in a mobile browser will display the shared folders.

 

Also, Outlook for iOS and Android supports shared/delegate calendars for Exchange Online mailboxes. See 

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/calendar-sharing-in-office-365-b576ecc3-0945-4d75-85f1-5efa... 

Microsoft

@David Noble Can you provide a bit more context regarding email approval? 

 

 

Microsoft

@Jarno Korterink @Sven Mihály-Bison, BA @Stephanie Nichols

 

The steps to set up Delegate Access in OWA includes information about using the browser on your mobile device for Shared Mailboxes:  https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2013/09/04/configuring-delegate-access-in-outlook-web-app/

 

Also, Outlook for iOS and Android supports shared/delegate calendars for Exchange Online mailboxes. See: 

 

 

 

 

Microsoft

@Kent Kroft  

 

Microsoft understands the need for a complete solution that will fully comply with the control commitments in the FedRAMP compliance package for Office 365 US Government Community. The plan is to complete the certification and approval of the solution for Outlook for iOS and Android in the very near term so you can expect to see hear more in the Office 365 Message Center in the next 30-60 days.  

 

You may also track our progress on the Office 365 Roadmap

Regular Contributor

@Ross Smith IV 

 

So I need to tell my end users they will no longer have an app with badges that alert them to new items, they will have to constantly refresh their browser on the phone to see if there is a new mail...

 

I bet this will go over real well.

 

Also, it seems from your answer above you are telling me they will need to use a mixture of Outlook on the Phone and OWA on the web to get the same functions they already have, that again, we pay for.

 

Such terrible customer experience.

This is a very abrupt change with very little time to widely notify the customer base.  The OWA app has lacked in some features such as the ability to add attachments and such, but it was certainly lyuseful in managing shared / delegates mailboxes and multi-calendar management.   The app should not be deprecated, but as with everything suggested to Microsoft for the past 2 years, this suggestion will no doubt be ignored.   Using a web browser on a phone is just not sustainable, so we’re left with the Outllok app or the native mail app (which is horrible for those with a need to monitor multiple mailboxes and / or calendars).  

 

Bottom line, deprecating the OWA app this soon is a HORRIBLE idea and I can hardly wait for the flood of phone calls from angry clients that I’m sure to get from this sudden removal of an app that has helped them gain a significant boost to their daily productivity and flexibility from a simple act as not having to be toes to their computer or having to have several mailboxes set up on their device.

New Contributor

@Eugenie Burrage

 

As I wrote:

 

  • Delegated Mailbox Access over IMAP with Outlook Mobile is possible when the delegated Mailbox resides in Exchange Online.
  • Delegated Mailbox Access over IMAP with Outlook Mobile is NOT possible when the delegated Mailbox resides in Exchange OnPrem, as Exchange Server 2016 only works with WAP Server 2016 and WAP Server 2016 does not Support IMAP. The OWA App is our one and only chance to access these delegated mailboxes with mobile devices   

@Ross Smith IV:

Thanks for the clarification. Can you comment on Outlook for iOS in cooperation with Exchange OnPrem? I see that the app requires modern authentication and there is an announcement for modern auth for OnPrem Exchange [1], but that makes no mention about a specific timeline for Outlook for iOS / Android. 

 

Thanks!

Philipp Bieber

 

New Contributor

@Ross Smith IV

 

Using a mobile web browser is no feasible option for usage in an enterprise environment. Smartphone users don't check their mailboxes actively, they rely on notifications and read mails after they got notified. The option to access delegated onprem mailboxes via app is a must have and I think that I'm not alone with this statement. 

We use OWA for iOS and iPad as it uses Mail-Apps installed on our On-Prem Exchange Server. Will Outlook for iOS and Android support Mail-Apps for Exchange On-Prem? If I missed that, please blog about the details at EHLO. Thanks Sven
Regular Contributor

Thanks for taking the time to listen and reply to the people on these forums. It does help.

Microsoft
@Philipp Bieber - Outlook for iOS and Android supports Exchange on-premises already today. This solution synchronizes a portion of the mailbox data in Azure and leverages basic authentication with the Exchange ActiveSync protocol. It does not support EMS capabilities like Azure Active Directory Conditional Access and Intune App Protection policies. We are building support for hybrid modern authentication with Outlook for iOS and Android against on-premises mailboxes, which brings OAuth, Conditional Access, and Intune App Protection policies. This solution synchronizes a portion of mailbox data into your Exchange Online tenant. See https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/exchange/2017/09/27/tap-outlook-mobile-support-for-exchange-on-p... for more information. We'll be GAing this feature soon.
Occasional Contributor

Thanks @Eugenie Burrage.  When these are posted to the message center in O365 it's helpful if they have all the information on how to gather usage information, just a suggestion for future posts.

 

Arguably I should have remembered that cmdlet, I've used it before :P

 

Thanks again!

Microsoft

Thank you everyone for your comments and feedback here about Microsoft’s plans to retire OWA for iPhone, iPad and Android apps.

 

While we are working to deliver the capabilities you are requesting to Outlook for iOS and Android, you can continue to use OWA through the browser on your mobile device.

 

Microsoft Outlook team.

Occasional Visitor

To those of you worried about having shared mailboxes, I assure you it works, both on my computer and my phone. I've been running that way for months. I'm not sure why there is such a clamor over a feature that works.

New Contributor

@Gary Crosbie: with Exchange Online: yes. But not with Exchange OnPrem.

Occasional Visitor

The trick to getting shared mailboxes working with the new Android (possibly iOS?) app is to reset the password on those shared mailboxes within the admin console and then add the accounts back into Outlook android. They will then sync up and you can use them as a regular account. 

 

This works for exchange online with onprem you reset the password on AD and sync to cloud. 

Microsoft

Bummer that this app is being retired.  Personally I don't like the look and feel pf the iPhone default mail client , which is what Outlook for iOS seems to use.  The OWA was the closest to the desktop O365 UI for outlook, for both email and calendar.  The OWA app was a bright spot in the iOS world!  I will look forward to giving Outlook for iOS a workout. :)


@Eugenie Burrage wrote:

Today we are announcing the retirement of OWA for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For the last several years Microsoft has focused on delivering an effortless user experience and bolstering security in the native Outlook app for iOS and Android devices.  We’ve used your feedback to make Outlook an award-winning app and the best way to experience Office 365 features on a mobile device.  Now we’re helping all users to migrate to Outlook while retiring the OWA mobile apps:  

 

  • In April 2018, the OWA for iPhone, iPad and Android apps will no longer be available for download from Apple’s iTunes store and the Google Play store.
  • Also in April, OWA mobile app users will see a recurring in-app message notifying them of the date when the app will be retired, with a link to download Outlook for iOS or Android.
  • On May 15, 2018, the OWA mobile apps will stop working. Office 365 users who attempt to open them will be greeted with a message directing them to download Outlook for iOS or Android.

It is easy for users to move over to the Outlook app for iOS or Android.  To learn how, see the step by step instructions here. If you are an Office 365 administrator and received a notice today in the Office 365 Message Center, it means one or more people in your organization are still using the OWA mobile app.  If you don’t receive a notice in Message Center, then you don’t need to take any administrative action.  Should you need additional details and support regarding the retirement plans of the OWA mobile apps, please refer to this article.

 

Outlook for iOS and Android has an architecture fully powered by the Microsoft Cloud and has 4.5+ star ratings in the app stores.  And as we streamline our mobile portfolio, we’ll be able to further focus our efforts to deliver on our promise of the best-in-class, enterprise-grade mail, calendar and search experience and the best way to experience Office 365 features on a mobile device with Outlook.


 

Occasional Visitor

MS customer rep must not have got the memo when they recommend I download OWA app to solve my issue with Outlook app! If its not broken, don't break it...

Please do not remove OWA until you have enabled outlook to work with shared calendars and let me view others emails.  I operate 5 companies internationally and cannot monitor workflows without having access to others email.  Outlook for IOS does not deliver this.  Retrograde step and complete arrogance to discontinue something that works, when you can’t sort outlook.  Feel free to put a tech in touch.

Regular Visitor

In the company we use OWA because the enterprise level has more resources.
I started using Outllok today and I came across some problems
In Outlook I can not see the calendar of other users as a way in OWA.
Folders do not synchronize right like in OWA and appear as expanded.
In Outlook when I click the message it appears as read, not in OWA. The message is only read when it is answered or when the receipt of the read receipt is clicked if the mail has.
Anyone know how to get around these points?
Thank you

Frequent Visitor

What about Public Folders synchronization for on-premises/office365 users? Will this feature be available for Outlook for Android/iOS anytime soon?

Interestingly, since the message appeared, functionality for looking at shared mailboxes and calendars has been slowed down - time for a reality check for IOS users- outlook on iPhone or iPad now doesn’t support shared calendars, allow you to look at other users emails etc.  Come on guys - time to deliver something which works.  We raised this with you two years ago- it is simply arrogance or that you don’t care about small businesses.  Life is hard enough without being tied to a desktop.  All our consulting staff use smartphones - should we ask them to move back to carrier pidgeons to make appointments and get their mail.  Please provide a resolution ASAP and copy in all members of this blog so we can get on with our business.  

Occasional Visitor

Microsoft doesn't support the native iOS email client to access Shared mailboxes in Office365. They don't currently support them in the new Outlook for iOS app. So it seems bizarre that MS would remove access to OWA, the only app that seems to support Shared Mailboxes, prior to making the new app on par in terms of features.

 

This will significantly impact our ability to use Office365 - our staff rely on being able to access Shared Mailboxes on their mobiles. It seems that, come May, we won't be able to.

Microsoft
@Gordon McMurray - Shared/Delegate calendar access is supported with Outlook iOS and Android for Office 365 mailboxes. See https://support.office.com/en-us/article/calendar-sharing-in-office-365-b576ecc3-0945-4d75-85f1-5efa... for how to set it up.

Thanks for reply but doesn't solve the issue for iOS users on iPhone who need the ability to access multiple email boxes across users and a shared calendar.  We don’t all run exchange.  Think again please before I retire and join Microsoft as a director. 

Regular Visitor
From your own pages MS.. "Will I lose any features when I move from an OWA mobile app to Outlook for iOS or Outlook for Android? (yes quite a few important ones is the answer) For the past several years, Microsoft has focused on launching features customers need in Outlook for iOS and Outlook for Android. With an architecture fully powered by the Microsoft cloud, Outlook offers an effortless user experience and bolstered security. Many features, including shared or delegate calendar access and the ability to view the Global Address List, are now included in the Outlook apps. Other features (like shared mailboxes) will be available by the end of 2018. In the meantime, the Outlook web experience is available from your browser on your mobile device." So if the features we need will be coming at the end of 2018 why are you removing OWA at the start of the year... And that's if we get the features at all, Outlook contact manager on Enterprise anyone? 3 years and counting!!!! and we've tested it and it works fine with E3 and trial on bus prem literally nothing stopping you adding it. Ever hear of continuity... This is again total BS from a company that seems to be pedaling backwards in so many areas. Is MS trying to proactively piss off every power user and tech user in the community?
Regular Visitor

We were just notified that the OWA app for IOS and android will be unavailable after 5/15/18.  This is unacceptable as OWA is the only app that will display the shared mailbox corporate calendars that our employees rely on, it was one of the reasons for changing to Office 365 from the other company.  There is not a way to share the shared mailbox calendars in the Outlook app which is why your tech support informed us to use the OWA app (just a few months ago).  Using a browser is not possible with the type of work our staff perform.  I need to know a how to add the shared mailbox calendars to the Outlook app if possible and why would you retire an app that is the only one that works completely for most users.

Microsoft
@Wendy Ludwig - Shared/Delegate calendar access is supported with Outlook iOS and Android for Office 365 mailboxes. See https://support.office.com/en-us/article/calendar-sharing-in-office-365-b576ecc3-0945-4d75-85f1-5efa... for how to set it up.
Senior Member

I see a couple of Microsoft staff here quite happy to jump in and answer the few questions that actually have answers.

What we need is answers to the questions that you're silent on...

 

WHY is Microsoft removing the only mobile app that supports the shared mailboxes that many of your customers are using?

 

WHY has Microsoft, for several years now, ignored the thousands of votes on uservoice for Outlook mobile to support shared mailboxes?

 

Microsoft are portraying a frankly disgusting disregard for their customers' feedback and needs.

 

RG

Occasional Visitor

Unfortunately, this is a deal breaker for me to use a Microsoft app to access my emails. I will not use Outlook for Android because I would have to accept my org's security and I am not interested in doing so. I have selected BlueMail as a replacement, but the drawback for that app is they don't have Out of the office message capabilities. Otherwise, it's a more stable app than those offered by Microsoft.

Regular Visitor

This is from your Microsoft site!!!  Outlook calendar/shared mailbox not available in Outlook IOS until the end of 2018, Why retire a fully functioning app with all the features before the other app is fully functional!!  This is completely unacceptable for a service we pay for.

Will I lose any features when I move from an OWA mobile app to Outlook for iOS or Outlook for Android?

For the past several years, Microsoft has focused on launching features customers need in Outlook for iOS and Outlook for Android. With an architecture fully powered by the Microsoft cloud, Outlook offers an effortless user experience and bolstered security.

Many features, including shared or delegate calendar access and the ability to view the Global Address List, are now included in the Outlook apps. Other features (like shared mailboxes) will be available by the end of 2018. In the meantime, the Outlook web experience is available from your browser on your mobile device.

Occasional Visitor

Is or will there be a solution to connect to on-premises Exchange with the use of shared mailboxes/ calanders on Android and IOS?

 

Using a browser is NOT an option.

Occasional Visitor

Is there a problem with Outlook app connecting to Exchange 2007? 

We have not been able to use the app since 4-25-2018, it gives us an error regarding the cert even though all other apps and webmail work fine.

Microsoft

@Enrique Esqueda - Check your SSL cert using https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html. If it doesn't pass you should replace it. This most likely has to do with the cipher suite. Also, you can work with support either by engaging Microsoft Support directly or via the in-app support experience.