Google and Microsoft need no introduction, and when it comes to email, they have their own solid products: Gmail and Outlook. Both products are available as Android apps where you can subscribe to their email services or simply use them as email clients for your existing accounts.
But since practically every Android phone has the Gmail application installed, is there any reason to switch? Let’s compare Gmail and Outlook side-by-side and find out which is the better email app for you.
In this article, the screenshot on the left is Gmail and the screenshot on the right is Outlook.
1. Interface and ease of use
Gmail integrates Google’s trademark Material design, which you can relate to as an Android user, offering a clean user interface and easy navigation. From the bottom of the screen, you can switch between Google’s video calling app, Meet, and your Gmail inbox.
The design is simple, yet elegant and modern. From the sidebar menu, you can easily access the different folders along with settings.
If you have multiple email accounts added to Gmail, you can switch between them by tapping or swiping your profile photo next to the search bar. Also, the All Inbox options in the sidebar menu can be useful for checking emails from multiple accounts at once.
In contrast, Outlook has a more traditional interface. You can view your important emails on the home page in Focused View and apply filters to further refine your view.
Use the tabs at the bottom to switch between Email, Search, and Calendar. The sidebar menu is where you can find folders and switch between accounts. However, the default view shows emails from all your accounts.
Gmail has a slight advantage here because it almost feels like part of the Android operating system, making it very easy to use. However, if you want more options in one application, Outlook would be a better choice.
2. Compatibility with e-mail providers
Both Gmail and Outlook work great with various email providers such as Yahoo, Exchange, iCloud and others. You can add multiple accounts from multiple email providers and set different settings for each account.
Gmail allows you to add multiple accounts either automatically or manually. Manual setup allows you to add POP3 or IMAP accounts. Outlook offers both of these options. You can also add an email account by scanning a QR code.
There is no clear winner here. However, we could say that Outlook has a bit more to offer if we were to go to the wire.
3. Email writing functions
Unlike the 1990s, email now has more diverse purposes, such as marketing, information sharing, and official correspondence. This is why emails and email clients have added various great composition features.
Gmail has a smoother navigation process for writing new emails. Rather, it focuses on ease of use and accessibility of features. You can attach a file from your device or select one from your Google Drive storage. You can also schedule your messages for later delivery.
It also has a Confidential mode that allows you to send expiring messages that can only be opened with a password.
Outlook allows you to add calendar items such as time availability as well as traditional editing features. You can add attachments from your local storage or Microsoft OneDrive. Its text editing and formatting features help you create more dynamic emails. You can even annotate or draw on your emails with drawing tools.
In terms of features, Outlook is the clear winner here. However, if you like simplicity, Gmail is also quite powerful.
4. E-mail management and organization
Gmail lets you move an email to a different category, snooze notifications for a specific time, and star an email you want to remember. You can also mark an email as important. The artificial intelligence used by Gmail automatically remembers your settings and handles your emails individually.
Outlook also tries to automatically manage emails by separating the important ones in the Focused view and the rest in the Other section. It also provides features such as ignoring conversations from specific senders. You can flag an email or pin it to stay on top of your inbox.
Most of the options are similar in both apps, with a few unique ones here and there. You could say that Outlook offers a little more, but Gmail is not far behind.
5. Customization options in Settings
In Gmail, you can customize the theme and change the default notification actions. You can also enable a conversation view to organize your emails into threads.
It also allows you to modify the swipe functions to change what happens when you swipe right and left. Additionally, the Action Confirmations feature allows the app to ask for confirmation before performing important actions such as deleting and sending emails.
Similarly, Outlook offers many customization options. For security reasons, you can enable or disable synchronization of contacts and calendars, and disable external images. It also has a predictive text feature that allows you to efficiently write professional emails through auto-completion.
Outlook offers several options. However, Gmail has the advantage that its customizations are better suited to the Android operating system, and most of us are more familiar with it through years of use. But these apps work in their own unique ways, so comparing customization options is a bit like comparing apples and oranges.
6. Value-added services
Gmail has a smart compose feature that makes quick suggestions for replying to emails. And the vacation answering feature lets you notify your contacts that you’re out of the office. Another great feature is package tracking, which finds the tracking number in your emails and shows you the status of your shipments.
Outlook has a built-in calendar that lets you keep track of fun events like sports events, TV shows, and more. It also has a Play My Emails feature that reads your emails on the go.
Outlook offers several functions within the application. Gmail relies on Google Calendar and Contacts for additional features.
Both Gmail and Outlook are free to download and use. However, both offer in-app purchases that allow you to purchase services from their packages.
You can extend Gmail by purchasing Google Drive storage and Outlook OneDrive storage. You can also check out Google Workspace offers for Gmail and Office 365 offers for Outlook.
This decision mostly depends on which of the two apps you prefer and are willing to pay for, and the points mentioned above will help you with that. However, you don’t need to spend a single penny on any of the apps for basic usage.
Which of the following email applications is better?
Gmail and Outlook are both great apps from two tech giants and offer unique features. If you look at the basic functions of sending and receiving emails, you will find both apps equally useful.
For users who prefer simplicity and ease of use, Gmail is the way to go, especially because of its similarity to the Android operating system. If you want more options and something less Google, you should definitely go for Outlook. Plus, it’s the more versatile of the two.