In March Microsoft announced a free Outlook for Mac Preview for the Office Insider Fast community. Now for a limited time if you act before June 30, 2017, you can receive a free standalone Outlook for Mac Preview. Microsoft is bringing major improvements to how Google Accounts work in Outlook 2016 for Mac—including an improved setup experience and Google Calendar and Contacts support, which Mac users have requested for some time now. Initially this was done to test drive and provide feedback to Microsoft on the experience which has been closely managed with the rollout to Insiders and eventually expanding availability over the next several weeks, before becoming broadly available to Office 365 customers later this year. So you can be part of this feedback with your own standalone Outlook for Mac preview without joining Insider.
Many of Outlook’s best and most advanced email features have only been available to those with an Outlook.com, Office 365 or Exchange email address. With these updates, you will also be able to take advantage of several of Outlook’s advanced features with your Gmail account, including Focused Inbox and richer experiences for travel reservations and package deliveries. Additional advanced features will become available as we roll these updates out more broadly. As Microsoft puts it, “anyone can install the earliest Outlook for Mac Preview build and help us test the new Google Account experience. You will have access to the same experience as our Insider Fast community—without the requirement of being an existing Office 365 customer.”
What should You Do If You Already Are an Outlook for Mac user?
If you are already using Outlook as part of Office 365, this preview isn’t for you. Existing users can get access to the new Google Account features, and all the latest Outlook innovations, simply by joining the Insider Fast community. Just open Outlook, click Help > Check for Updates and then follow these directions.
What if I don’t use Outlook for Mac?
This preview is for you! To try Outlook for Mac with your Google Account and test drive the new updates, visit Microsoft’s preview website and click the Download button. This will install the latest preview version of Outlook 2016 for Mac, which you can use until June 30, 2017. Once the preview is over, you can become an Office 365 customer to continue getting all the latest features and innovation in Outlook and Office for your Mac and iPhone.