Outlook for Mac and Gmail Contacts and Calendars

In case you missed it, the Microsoft Office team recently announced that Outlook 2016 for Mac using the Insider Fast build will begin rolling out the ability to make use of your Gmail account’s contacts and calendars. For those that have been using Outlook 2016 for Mac as their mail client on their desktop this is definitely a welcome capability rather than having to export your contacts or calendar items from Google and move them over to Outlook manually, you can just have it automatically imported.

Granted, there were kluge ways around this in the past using things like CardDav and CalDav with some other magic while rolling one’s own solution, but more work than was probably necessary for working with someone as an end user.

So what does this mean and how does this work practically speaking?

Step one, go to your Google calendar (it’s okay, you can go and create a Google account if you want to try this, that’s what I did ;-)). Then point your browser to https://calendar.google.com. This should bring you to your calendar. Simply create a calendar item and you’re probably used to seeing something like this in agenda view:

Screenshot 2017-03-04 18.07.03.png

Well that’s nice and pretty, right? But if you want to see that in Outlook, at least in the past you’ve not had all that much luck… that is until now.

Screenshot 2017-03-04 18.09.43.png

Pretty slick that it shows up. And if we view the contents of the item in Google’s calendar, we’ll see that we have one person that we’re inviting and a little bit of text to better describe the event.

Screenshot 2017-03-04 18.11.38.png

And if you open this up within Outlook, you’ll see similar information that’s editable.Screenshot 2017-03-04 18.11.24.png

Google Contacts are similar but without Outlook you’ll notice that it states that it’s a “Preview” feature while they’re still working out some of the kinks.

Interested in learning more of the known issues before rolling this out to your user base (probably for the best unless you want to have your phone ringing off the hook) then head on over here:

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/outlookformac/2017/03/01/support-for-google-mail-calendar-and-contacts/

Definite kudos to the Office team for their continual work on the Outlook for Mac product and integration between platforms. Nice job folks!

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