OWA for iPad and iPhone available for Office 365 subscribers

A native Microsoft Outlook experience is now available on iOS devices for Office 365 subscribers. On-premises Exchange users will have to wait.

Exchange Online users have a new way to access email on iPhones and iPads.

Microsoft delivered Outlook Web App (OWA) for Apple devices this week, but users need to have an Office 365 subscription and the cloud hosted version of Exchange.

Exchange 2013 server customers will have to wait.

The new application runs natively on iPhone 4S and iPad 2 or later hardware versions. It runs on devices running iOS 6 or later.

"The best thing that I see that it does is that it offers Office 365 customers an easy way to get their mail hooked up to their phone," said Wes Miller, analyst at Kirkland, Wash.-based Directions on Microsoft.

Simply downloading a free app from Apple's App Store and logging in with credentials is much simpler than navigating iOS' system settings, Miller said.

The applications sport a user interface akin to Windows Phone 8 and the Windows 8 tablet app and offer access to Outlook mail and calendars.

The app includes many features users expect from the Outlook experience including easy access to Active Directory contacts, Bing Maps and contact search.

OWA for iPhone and iPad also offers native functions such as push notifications, voice actions and contact synchronization.

If an employee leaves the company or an employee loses a device, IT administrators can wipe email and calendar data from the app, without destroying personal data on the device.

"Exchange admins would like the fact it doesn't use the ActiveSync protocol anymore, something Apple had some issues with resulting in stressed Exchange servers," said Dave Stork, IT architect with OGD IT services, based in the Netherlands.

In early versions of iOS 6.1, users encountered Exchange ActiveSync bug that occured on Exchange Online, hampering performance.

The application will only work if an enterprise's Office 365 subscription is updated to the latest wave of Exchange Online. Subscribers to the E1, E3 and E34 level of Office 365 have access to OWA for iPhone and iPad.

Microsoft plans to offer support for Exchange 2013, Microsoft noted in its blog post. Customers would likely need to apply an update on Exchange 2013 and update to the latest version of the iOS app. There is no timeline when users can expect that, however.

This continues a trend for Microsoft, where it offers features on Office 365 first, then brings it down to the on-premises software, Miller said. 

Office Mobile became available for iPhone in June, and it also requires an Office 365 subscription.



Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Essential Guide

Three Microsoft collaboration tools all Exchange admins should know

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

After the news of "NSA backdoor access to the Public Cloud servers", no sane person will put corporate Emails in the Public cloud servers such as Office 365.
Oh please get over yourself! People ARE looking at public cloud and will consider the recent NSA revelations in the context that they should be held and make a choice. Microsoft confirmed that it worked with law enforcement agencies as it has done amongst other vendors for a long time, within the scope of the judicial system. The main point where clarity is required is on the public - non commercial - outlook.com eg Hotmail replacement, which if you thought would be private for a free service then you should not be working in IT. I challenge you to justify your comment beyond sounding like you are in fear of your job, rather than being open minded to something that is a genuine consideration (not choice before you jump in) for a number of organizations. Engage in intellectual debate rather than just saying random 'no to cloud because am scared of it' comments
Well it is obvious that the below comment is from a Public Cloud company employee, but the cat is out of the bag and everyone knows Public Cloud companies allow backdoor access.


Sorry how is it obvious that I work for a public cloud company? I dont! My comment means that people should consider all options based on facts then make a choice. If cloud is not for you then fine but that does not mean that you have to force your views on everyone and get angry when someone disagrees with you. Why not make a reasoned argument rather than posting links to stories which still dont make any case against a specific cloud provider acting outside the laws of their country and that is the key here IMHO legislation was passed that seems to allow for such activities and the people of the respective countries let it pass without incident. Its only now that there is an example of it being used that everyone really understands the implications. For the record I work for an organization that has had to work with law enforcement for a long time and in my experience if they come to you with a court order you would have had to comply a long time before PRISM the only thing that has changed is legislation to make it easier for the NSA, FBI or Police to get access to and analyze data. The other thing that you are not speaking about is how the legislation does not allow for companies to fully disclose what they do and do provide access to - that to my mind is a little unfair on them as it results in them getting single minded flack like this. I respect your view but put a reasoned argument please just posting what Snowden has said does not mean its completely true. You should remember that when you look at him coldly he is a man who has at the very least breached every security and confidentiality agreement he every signed in his career however good natured his intentions and at the worst end of the scale would be considered by some a traitor to his country. He worked for the NSA and CIA for gods sake if he didnt know what they were about then he really was a fool.
I think we all need to cool down, step back and think. But unfortunately after the NSA PRISM news many companies are thinking twice maybe five times before moving to Public Cloud. I know several companies that have cancelled Public Cloud move & thinking about Private Cloud now.
A balanced and reasonable comment. Would agree the situation is concerning and companies should be carefully considering options. My points were based on calming views before dismissing cloud and wanted a equal debate. Your words are right and I will not comment further in frustauion.
We were thinking to move some services to the Public Cloud. After the NSA PRISM news we have decided to invest on Private Cloud and keep everything On-Premises.
I know several other companies that my friends are working favor Private Cloud / On-Premises now.
Well the author clearly did not try this app or perhaps does not consider attachments as an integral part of an email application. Note to myself not to hire Mr. Miller as an advisor on technology – promoting downgrade in functionality vs. native Apple email application – way to go. OWA for iOS is frankly nothing more than crude technology preview – useless in production and does not offer anything like access to shared address books and/or mailboxes. It is actually inferior to Outlook.com application in my Android phone – which was a downgrade to original Hotmail app.
As far as NSA/Cloud and such … it is clear to me that Microsoft is doing everything in their power to push all Exchange customers to the cloud simply to get return on their investment on data centers – get used to this picture. It is actually trivial for them; just imagine having to apply CUs every three months … just to be supported. Given the quality of their updates – you will suffer the same or worst downtime as Office 365 Cloud.
When (of if) Microsoft can deliver on their cloud promise (superior service and support) no company will think twice about three letter agencies – they will dive in. On the funny note – government always says that they will listen to their people and they do 
Public Cloud has been around for awhile & Office 365 for couple years. But after the NSA PRISM news and backdoor access to Public Cloud / Office 365 servers every company is thinking about security in the Public Cloud / Office 365. Companies do NOT want to give away access to Emails and data.
Someone is doing copy paste ...
companies will have to use office365 once Exchane on prem is dropped.
Looks like we have 2 camps here.
But I have to agree with guys pro Private Cloud / On-Premises. Public Cloud companies are trying so hard to sell today BUT recent news has put a stop into that sale because of security issues such as Backdoor access to Public Cloud servers ;-)
But what if Exchange 2013 is the last one release for on prem and companies have no choice if they want Exchange ?
Good question :-) if Exchange 2013 is the last Exchange from Microsoft. That means MS does NOT understand what millions of customers worldwide wants. So MS need to close shop and start selling Burgers because everyone wants burger these days :-)
Again it is NOT want MS wants, it is what Customers WANT ;-)
@zumarek Would agree that the OWA application is at this stage not as good as the native Apple Mail App - but it appears to have the same attachment functionality namely photos and video in messages. It could be integrated better with iOS apps such as Drop Box I would concede.