Microsoft has finally added support for @mentions on iOS and Android with an Office Insider update. The new build enables the option to ping colleagues in comments on Word and PowerPoint, or get their attention via the built-in reply box on Excel.
For those unfamiliar, @mentions let users type another's name to send them a notification, much like in WhatsApp or Facebook messenger. It's been available on desktop for some time, as well as apps like Outlook.
The feature ships as part of build 16.0.11231.20010 (2.21 on iOS), which is a preview for a larger January 2019 update. It's not a huge addition but should help with productivity on the go. The build doesn't include any additional features, but it's still early in the month. Here's the full changelog:
- “Word and PowerPoint – Get their attention with @mentions
- Use @mentions in comments to let co-workers know when you need their input.
- Excel – Collaborate effectively with comments and @mentions
- Keep the conversation going right in your worksheet with the built-in reply box and let co-workers know that you need their input by using @mentions.”
The Office App
The result of this improvement should streamline Office a little more, and is particularly important due to Microsoft's incoming app. Windows 10 19H1 Insider builds feature ‘Office', a new app that acts as a hub for all things in the suite.
As you'd expect, this includes a place to manage and view your @mentions. It's likely some users will spend a significant amount of time in this app, so it's important there aren't any blind spots.
We haven't yet heard if the Office app will launch on mobile, but it would make natural sense. Aside from @mentions, the desktop app lets you view comments, launch various apps, and see recently accessed documents.