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Updated: Use Groups in the Outlook mobile app; Outlook Groups app is retiring

Last April, we introduced native support for Office 365 Groups in the Outlook mobile app. We’ve been improving the group experiences in the Outlook mobile app ever since, and today we’re pleased to share some new ways to get more done with Office 365 Groups right from Outlook.

  • In the next few months, we’ll be bringing you the ability to access all files that are stored in groups’ document libraries inside the Outlook mobile app.
  • We’ll also be bringing roaming favorites so you can pin groups, folders, and more to your navigation pane for easier access across Outlook in all your devices.

 These enhancements complement the work we’ve been doing over the past nine months inside the Outlook mobile app, including group creation and editing, which shipped late last year, as well as the ability you see your groups’ recent files, which we introduced earlier this year. This work is a part of our continuing efforts to advance Microsoft 365 as the universal toolkit for teamwork and complements similar investments that we’re making in Teams and Yammer.

 

By embedding groups functionality into the Outlook mobile app, we’re investing in group experiences to make teamwork effortless, while removing the need to install and use a separate app. Office 365 customers who are using the standalone Outlook Groups app should make plans to transition away in the next few months. On March 26, the app will be removed from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Microsoft Store. Then, the app will stop working on May 1, 2018. Between mid-March and May 1, users that have the app may continue using it, but after May 1, the app will not function.

 

For more details about the retirement of the app, please refer to this article. If you are an admin and received a notice today in the Office 365 Message Center, it means one or more people in your organization are using the Outlook Groups app. If you didn’t receive a notice in Message Center, you don’t need to take any action.

 

Thank you to those of you who used the Outlook Groups app over the years. Your feedback has helped to shape the Groups experience in Outlook—and helps us understand many other ways we can improve Groups experiences across Office 365. Please keep the suggestions flowing over in our UserVoice site.

 

—Groups Team

 

Learn more about groups in the Outlook mobile app here.

Learn what features are coming to the Outlook mobile app here.

 

Update: The mid-March date for removal of the Groups app is now set to March 26.

16 Comments
Trusted Contributor

This makes so much sense, native support in Outlook app is definitely the way forward especially with the enhancements mentioned. Thanks for the update.

Valued Contributor

I disagree.  And the app shouldn't be removed until you give full access to all the things the app can currently do.

 

That means files, notebook, membership, planner, and SharePoint launch icons from the Group in Outlook.

 

And groups need to be way easier too find and access than where they are very buried currently.

Regular Visitor

This is a good thing, as my users don't want to jump to another app to access the type of information (email) that they're used to getting in one app (Outlook/mail client).  Agreed though that they need to add all group features before retiring the old apps.

 

I am very much hoping that this will finally provide an easy shared calendar access on an app.  This is one of may largest complaints of my users regarding O365 over Google Apps, which will display all shared calendars in the mobile devices' calendar application.  If the Outlook app will display at least Groups calendars, then it'll be a step forward.

 

My problem is there's such overlap between Groups and Teams.  It all needs to combine and simplify.

Frequent Contributor

My greatest concern is that currently the Groups app is the only way to manage group calendars on mobile. It must not stop working before the Outlook app gets this capability.

Microsoft

 @Zoltan Bagyon, by default, events that you send to a group will land in all members' inboxes as well as your own calendar, so meeting attendees and yourself will still be able to see and accept their meeting invites.

 

Could you tell us more about your use case of how you use calendaring in the current Outlook Groups app? We'd love to hear how you use the group calendar on the go as we plan new functionality in the Outlook mobile app.

Frequent Contributor

Thanks @Ethan Li for responding to my concern. We are using group calendars like a "wall calendar", just to let team members know / give them an idea what events are planned. Such are needless to be added to team members' individual calendars, but a group calendar used this way is great to surface such events. Now, if the Outlook app won't be able to display group calendars and the Groups app will stop working, then we feel we'll loose functionality on mobile platforms.

New Contributor

Not being able to see group calendars in the Outlook is a common complaint from clients I work with as well.

Valued Contributor

IMO this all stems from the token response of "O365 Groups is nothing more than a membership service".  Groups is a perfectly viable collaboration platform.  It is an interconnected set of services that allows people to get something done.  That alone warrants its own app, nothing fancy just a launching point to the different services.

 

Our users approach Groups by going to a particular group, and working across the different services.  Not going to a particular service and working across the different Groups.  Thats why I also feel this move is pressure from the Teams team to drive users into Teams instead of Groups.

 

 

We use the calendars the exact same way mentioned above.   Could be things like out of office calendars, major milestones, etc.  This will get only worse when the ability to add appointments (with no actual email invites) to Group calendars fully rolls out (instead of everything is an invite).

Frequent Visitor

We are strongly disagree for this action, as our company is very rely the Groups Calendar for our daily schedule on Groups mobile apps!

For example: apply staff leaves, arrange sales appointments, arrange marketing meeting, arrange design schedule, etc.

 

So, access the Groups Calendar on mobile apps is most important for us.

But this moment, no way to access Groups Calendar on mobile Outlook apps, SharePoint apps or other mobile apps.

 

Please suggest another solution to access the Groups Calendar on mobile apps intends.

Or please update the Outlook mobile apps with Groups Calendar ASAP.

 

One more things, this Outlook Groups apps is the most easier way to access the Groups Conversation, Groups Files, Groups Calendar, Groups Notebook on one apps. If separate it, the core value of the Groups will be gone.

Occasional Visitor

This is disappointing to hear, our company uses the file share in groups very heavily and we have integrated into our daily work flows so our field personnel working from iPads can all be working from the same files. 

 

Currently there is way to access all the files from outlook, from what I can see it only shows you the last five documents shared or updated. 

 

I think they need to leave the groups app active until they have all the proper functionality in outlook. 

Occasional Visitor

I don't agree with the decision to bury Groups in the Outlook app but removing the Groups app before you provide full functionality in Outlook is inexcusable. The Groups app should absolutely remain active until Groups in Outlook is fully featured.

Occasional Visitor

I would like to echo the need to be able to view Group Calendars on mobile. My team uses this feature to be aware of events even if they are not on the individual’s calendar. How will we view Group Calendars on mobile when the Groups app retires?

Occasional Visitor

When you manage several email addresses and groups, the ease of access and notification provided by the groups app is helpful.  The way we utilize groups is for the most important stuff (customer inquiries, etc) that we did not want to get buried in the rest of the outlook muck.   I think it a mistake to not have another option; some will like it in Outlook App, others will like to have it separate; so do both.  To do otherwise, shows a lack of essential understanding of how the technology is leveraged in the real world outside of major enterprises.  We should be able to leverage the technology in the way that best meets our individual business needs.  

 

Occasional Visitor

We need access to add events or edit events in the group calendar on devices other than our computer.  You have taken that option away and have seriously limited our functionality.  Please find a way to add that feature in Outlook.  

Occasional Visitor

Is there a way to view and add events to a group calendar on the Outlook app for iOS? If not, are there plans to develop this?

Microsoft

@Stephen Williams, @M'Li Hoki, @BENJAMIN GERTNER, you can send meeting invitations to a group, which will be sent to users' inboxes as well as to the group's calendar. We are currently working on allowing users to view the events that are on their group calendar.

 

We're also currently investigating on what the best way to add appointments onto the group calendar; however, we don't have timelines to share on this right now.

 

Follow along on the Office 365 roadmap here: https://products.office.com/en-US/business/office-365-roadmap?filters=%26freeformsearch=View%20group...