Office 365 Outlook or Native Apple Apps

Got approval for migrating staff to Office 365…now comes the hard part. :slight_smile: Wondering whether anyone knows what are the benefits or costs of using Apple’s native Mail & Calendar clients with O365 versus using Outlook.

Also, any recommendations for training avenues and/or companies you have used to make the migration process smoother would be appreciated.


We have a few hundred users. Some use the Outlook app. Others use the native app. We haven’t had problems with either. I tried the Outlook app but since I had so many other mail accounts in the native app, I switched back.

Setting the default calendar was the only issue we had with the native calendar app. Most of my users are not electronic calendar users in their personal life but they use the calendar for work. They expected the default calendar to be their work calendar but their personal g-mail accounts got in the way. As a result some of their events weren’t making it up to work. We deleted the extraneous empty calendars leaving their office calendar as the default calendar.

Office 365 was no different from the version we were already using so initially there were no training needs. Later I created training for calendar sharing and the use of One Drive.

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It all depends on what type of phone or other tablet devices your users have. If your user has iPhone, iPad, MacBook, etc. then all these devices are integrated via their AppleID and share the same address book, calendar, contacts (used by Mail), etc.

I believe you have the same integration in Google/Android devices.

If you force users to use Outlook, then this integration capability is lost and your users productivity will drop.

We’ve been a “Mac” house for more than a couple decades, so yeh, it all Mac devices with Apple IDs tied to their work email address. I would love to stay with the Native apps, but a couple things concern me.

Shared calendars using Apple IDs does not always work, Sometimes its an easy fix and other times it takes Apple Support to fix, which they always seem to, but give no help for future prevention. So I was really hoping shared calendars within Outlook work work better.

My other “unknown” concern, is this…Is there functionality with the Office 365 ecosystem that Outlook is integrated with and we would lose those abilities by using Apple’s native devices.

Although I am excited about moving to Office 365, I just don’t know enough yet to know what I don’t know. :slight_smile:

Appreciate all the tips.

Hey Kyle,

We have been full-fledged Office 365 for about a year now. The vast majority of our users are using the native Outlook app (with a few outliers using Apple Mail) … this mostly has to do with the calendar sharing functionality you had mentioned.

I think it mostly depends on your user base and requirements. If users just need to be able to check email, and send/receive calendar invites and manage just their own calendar… then I don’t see any reason why they HAVE to use Outlook.

IF you are trying to not have to pay the extra $4/user/mo that Microsoft charges, and just want to stick with their free E1 level… the online Outlook interface has vastly improved over previous releases in my opinion. For our instance, we would have a riot on our hands if we tried to take away desktop Microsoft Office from our users.

On the migration side of things… I would point you towards Enable Ministry Partners. We have been working with them for a ChMS/Data Analytics project… but I’m like 95% sure they also do Office 365 migration work as well. Here is their website: If you want to email me at caleb(dot)stanley(at)pinelake(dot)org I can get you their contact information.

Hope that helps!

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There may be some features of Teams that can only be accessed via the app. I don’t know. We don’t use that yet so I can’t tell you if it’ll be lost.

Honestly, it’s so easy to set up the app. If someone needs a feature not in the native app that is in the Outlook app, let them add the app when/if they need it.

I have one user who set his account in both. He only uses the Olk app when he needs it because he prefers the convenience of the native app.

I’m not a fan of either.

Apple Mail uses a lot of resources and ends up creating backups of backups of your email that you don’t need and takes even more resources. Outlook and Apple haven’t always gotten along. There have been at least two major operating system updates by Apple that resulted in major problems with Outlook that lingered for months.

We use Google Apps and have our users access their mail from a browser.

In the 4 years we have used o365, we have had no issues with updates breaking either app. I probably have more apple mobile devices than Android.

I have never seen the “backup of backups” issue. I would be interested in checking into this matter for privacy reasons. Do you have any articles to describe this issue or can you point to the location of the backups so that I can research the matter further?

I have never