Apple M1-Powered Macs Receive Native Microsoft 365 App Support

Microsoft is rolling out new universal apps for Macs powered by Apple’s new M1 ARM processor. The additional support will allow the native apps to run faster, more efficiently, and with better overall support.

Native Microsoft 365 Apps Come to M1 ARM Macs

Microsoft is releasing redesigned versions of its Microsoft 365 for Mac apps, including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. The redesigned apps will now use a universal design, meaning they’ll work well on any platform.

In this case, the Microsoft 365 for Mac apps will “run faster and take full advantage of the performance improvements on new Macs.” That means Microsoft 365 users on the new M1-powered MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini can take advantage of the extra performance.

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The improvements are not limited to M1 ARM hardware, either. Microsoft’s announcement confirmed that the switch to a universal design would benefit Mac hardware using Intel processors, which many users will appreciate.

The universal Microsoft 365 for Mac apps are designed with macOS Big Sur in mind. Each app uses an updated design that better blends with macOS, as you can see from the PowerPoint screenshot below (and the Outlook for Mac screenshot in the earlier picture).

powerpoint native mac app

Office Start also receives a makeover, incorporating the Fluent UI design system that unifies the style of the app throughout the operating system. However, the new Office Start will not arrive on macOS until January 2021.

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New Outlook for Mac Features

There are more bonuses for Outlook for Mac users, too.

First, Microsoft is finally bringing proper support for iCloud accounts to Outlook for Mac. The lack of proper iCloud support on Mac devices has long held Outlook back on macOS, so this announcement is another welcome change.

Related: The Best Free Microsoft Office Alternatives for Mac

Second, Outlook for Mac will support shared calendars, allowing you to sync your events across macOS, Windows, Android, iPhone, and the web. The shared calendar feature is currently available to the Office Insider Mac Beta Channel, but you should expect a wider rollout in early 2021.

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Universal Microsoft Teams App Arriving Later

Microsoft is keen to capitalize on the recent successes of its collaborative platform, Microsoft Teams. As such, they are “working on universal app support for M1 Macs and will share more news as our work progresses.”

Related: The Microsoft Office for Mac Keyboard Shortcut Cheat Sheet

At the time of writing, Microsoft Teams works on M1-powered Macs via the Rosetta emulation mode. There is no set date for the universal Microsoft Teams app for the new Apple silicon, as per the announcement.

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