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

By Jeremy Stanley,

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 offer 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.

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Will tablet and Smart phone use be a big part of your OWA 2013 deployment?