Microsoft Mail and Calendar has received version bump on the Release Preview Ring, meaning its new features will soon be available to all. Version 1605.10325.20106.0 brings one major improvement: Inking support.
According to Aggiornamenti Lumia, you can now draw in Mail and Calendar, making it a strong choice for touchscreen users. It works with the Surface Pen, fingers, or graphics tablets, with a number of color and nib options.
Users can access the functionality under a new ‘Draw’ tab once they begin composing mail, where they can add a canvas to the mail. After the message is complete, the app converts it a png so receivers can view it on any device.
Ink to Text in Testing
Unfortunately, the app is limited to images for now, making its usefulness questionable. Few professionals will want to send their crude handwriting, making it more suited for fun and drawings between family members and friends.
However, Microsoft has begun to test Ink to Text in version 11605.10228.20091.0. This will let Surface users who don’t have a keyboard cover handy quickly write a message and have it displayed like a normal email.
Progress seems to be moving quickly, with png Inking only rolling out to users a month ago. This gives us hope that Text to Ink will be included in Redstone 5, but Microsoft is yet to confirm this.
If it does, users may begin to take Windows Ink more seriously. The availability just wasn’t there at launch, and Microsoft’s integration in apps goes a long way in showing off its benefits. With affordable 2-in-1’s like the Surface Go now available, the time is right to push a natural interaction.