Microsoft Outlook Lite is already available on the Google Play Store in a few countries, such as Turkey and Mexico, and the app’s page has more details about what to expect. The current version of Outlook Lite has integrated email, calendar, and contacts, but has a much smaller download size of around 5 MB (the regular Android app is around 86 MB) and is optimized for devices that only have 1 GB of RAM. The app already has 100,000 downloads in the regions where it is officially available.
Although Microsoft Outlook has long been accessible on Android-powered smartphones and tablets, a version that is optimised to perform better on less powerful devices is now under development. According to ZDNet, “Outlook Lite for Android” is scheduled to launch globally at some point in July 2022, according to the Microsoft 365 roadmap. Microsoft simply describes it as “an Android app that offers the primary benefits of Outlook in a lower app size with quick performance for lightweight devices on any network” in the roadmap, which is intentionally short on information.
It’s common for popular apps and services to offer ‘Lite’ versions for lower-end Android devices, mostly aimed at developing countries where flagship phones aren’t common and storage is at a premium. There’s Facebook Lite, Messenger Lite, and Skype Lite, to name a few. Google also has ‘Go’ versions of some apps intended for phones and tablets running Android Go, the customized build of Android found on most devices with 2 GB RAM or less.
The catch is that Outlook Lite is only compatible with Microsoft’s own services: Outlook.com and Microsoft 365 accounts, and corporate Exchange servers. The normal Outlook app can synchronize with Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo Mail, and other third-party services. There are a few other missing features, like dark mode, synchronization with device contacts, and event reminders. It’s not clear if any of those shortcomings will be addressed before this month’s global rollout.