Outlook is getting an awesome but creepy Gmail feature
Microsoft is adding predictive text to its Outlook email platform, according to support documents published by the computing giant.
The tool is very similar to the Smart Compose tool offered by Gmail, which seeks to anticipate what emailers are going to type based upon the context of the email and by learning about their use of language.
As with the Google integration, Outlook’s forthcoming tool will show suggestions in line with the email you’re typing, which can be accepted by pressing Tab or the right arrow key. If you continue to type as normal, the suggestion will go away.
Within the support document first spotted by The Verge, Microsoft writes: “If you’re typing and suggested text appears that you don’t want to accept, just keep typing what you intended to write and the suggestion will disappear.”
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The predictions, which will be available on the web and within the Outlook application, can be turned on and off if you’re uncomfortable with the feature.
Microsoft advises users to browse to Settings > View all Outlook settings > Mail > Compose and reply. From there they can access a heading for text predictions and can clear the Suggest words or phrases as I type check box.
The feature isn’t live just yet, but it’s clear Microsoft isn’t too far away from rolling out the feature. It’s on the roadmap for later this month.
While it has proved useful within Gmail, the feature is not without controversy. Privacy advocates expressed huge concern over Google scanning the content of emails in order to provide the AI-based functionality.
Google also added a Smart Reply tool that would suggest quick responses to emails based on the content, which were ideal for those unable to type responses on their phones. After a backlash, the company gave users the ability to switch off both features.