Gmail-like text prediction is due soon for Outlook on the Web

Microsoft's Family Safety app also goes into preview today.

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Microsoft is adapting one of the more interesting features of Gmail, predictive text, and bringing it to the online version of Outlook.

Recently, Microsoft updated its publicly available Microsoft 365 roadmap, and text prediction is now listed as one of the upcoming features scheduled to roll out in May. “Using smart technology, Outlook will predict text while you type,” Microsoft’s description says. “Just use the Tab key to accept the text prediction.”

Microsoft has already included predictive text within Windows for months, though the implementation has been lousy. The text prediction Microsoft associates with your hardware keyboard opens up a small window above what you’re typing and forces you to select the word manually. (It’s off by default inWindows 10's Settings > Devices > Typing menu, probably because it’s so bad.) The online text prediction in both Gmail and apparently now the web version of Outlook appears to be far more useful; suggestions will be enabled via the tab key, and (hopefully) by other shortcuts as well.

Other improvements headed to Outlook on the web include suggested replies, which have already begun showing up in the Android app. They’re usually short phrases that Outlook suggests, after “reading” your email and suggesting a quick response. 

Outlook is part of the recent Office 365 suite’s rebranding to Microsoft 365. Microsoft said Monday that one of its features, the Family Safety app, is now available in limited preview to those who have Microsoft accounts set up for family members. The app allows parents to set screen-time limits for Xbox and Windows users, and can optionally track family members, with their permission.

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