Microsoft updates Office apps for Mac with Apple Silicon support, iCloud accounts in Outlook, and more

Microsoft has made some important announcements for Office 365 users on the Mac. With updates rolling out today, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote for the Mac are now all optimized for Apple Silicon. The apps have also been redesigned with macOS Big Sur in mind, and more.

Microsoft says users should notice significant performance improvements when using the Office apps on M1 Macs. The Office apps are universal, which means they will continue to work with the latest updates and features on Intel Macs.

We are pleased to announce that starting today we have new versions of many of our Microsoft 365 for Mac apps running natively on Macs with M1. This means our main Office apps – Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote – are now running faster and taking full advantage of the performance improvements on new Macs, making you even more productive on the latest MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini.

Microsoft is also making a notable change to Outlook for Mac today, bringing support for iCloud accounts for the first time. This means that you can now add your Apple iCloud account to Outlook and keep it alongside your other accounts. Microsoft says this feature will be rolled out today:

Continuous feedback keeps us learning how customers want to use our products. So thank you to all of you who have shared your experiences with us. Today we are delighted to announce support for iCloud accounts in the new Outlook for Mac. It lets you organize business and personal emails, contacts, and calendars together in one app, making it easier to stay connected to what’s important. We will be rolling this out with the new Outlook for Mac in the coming weeks.

Other changes for Office apps on Mac:

  • The new Outlook for Mac has been redesigned to match the new look of macOS Big Sur
  • Update Office Start experience for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for Mac with the Fluent UI authoring system
  • New Tell Me search box that “quickly takes you to the Office tools you need or actions you want to take just by typing what you want in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote for Mac”
  • A new dictation toolbar with voice commands for creating content with your voice comes to Word and Outlook for Mac
  • The new Outlook for Mac supports shared calendars for customers who subscribe to the Office Insider Mac Beta Channel “in the first months of next year”
  • Redesigned commenting experience in Word for Mac

You can read more in Microsoft’s full blog post here.

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