Using Voice Commands on Outlook
Easier said and done, just use your voice!
Outlook is designed to help you connect, organise and get things done. Recently Microsoft has introduced Play My Emails in Outlook for iOS and Android where you can ask Cortana to help you catch up with what’s new in your inbox and reply to emails or schedule a meeting using your voice!
Additionally, they introduced Search in Outlook mobile that supports using natural, everyday language to filter and narrow your query by typing or speaking into the mic. Microsoft has also announced additional features, including the ability to use your natural language and simple commands. You can quickly do more than search for events, emails and files. You will be able to initiate a new message, schedule a new event and even connect with a friend or colleague by calling them with voice commands.
Voice commands are effectively shortcuts for common functions of Outlook. Using intelligent technology, AI and voice services, Microsoft is finding new and helpful ways to help you stay organised and prepared throughout your day.
Let’s start with an example of using your voice to compose a new email quickly. Instead of searching for a specific email, you want to reply to, tap the mic in the keyword search box, and instruct Outlook with a voice command to send an email to a specific person. For example, you can say “Email Adele that I’m running late”. Outlook initiates a New Message, populates Adele’s email address and Subject of a Quick note and the body includes your message “I am running late”.
And that’s it! A quick, short email composed entirely with your voice. You may notice that inherently, Outlook will know contacts relevant to you should there be several with the same name in your contacts or company directory. Based on the Microsoft Graph, the service connections disambiguate people with the same name and populates email addresses those that are in context and closest to you.
To schedule a meeting with someone you’re connected with it’s simple! “Schedule a meeting about Group Meditation with Megan”. In this case, you may have just seen in a related topic on your calendar. With a quick voice command, you can start to schedule a new event with Megan while it’s top of mind to discuss.
Outlook populated the Title with Group Meditation for the event. If there’s no additional context provided, Outlook will default to Quick Sync or Sync with your contact name. The relevant person’s email fills the People field of the New Event and then picks the next available time slot to meet.
Outlook for iOS and Android will soon roll out a new experience to help you find times that work for everyone.
By default, Outlook will look for the next 30-minute timeslot when everyone’s available, but if you need to meet for a different duration or want to target this week or next, there are advanced filters to customise and set preferences.
Outlook will suggest times when attendees are all free to meet. If no options are available, you still can manually pick a date and time that works best for most of you.
Another common activity is to reach out to the people who help you get things done – or simply reach out to connect in real-time. Helping you stay connected to people and keeping you organised is at the core of what Outlook does. Soon you will be able to use your voice in Outlook to call a specific person. Based on the power of AI and the Microsoft Graph, Outlook will find the person most relevant to you and provide you with options to connect. For example, you may initiate a call by saying “Call Anna” and then select whether you call via phone to Anna’s available numbers or call her via Microsoft Teams.
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