Microsoft Outlook Workarounds on Apple IOS Devices

Mac OS and Windows Operating Systems, made by Apple and Microsoft respectively, are inherently different. MacOS (Mac computer operating system) and iOS (iPhone and iPad operating system) are based on Darwin, an open-source, Unix based operating system.  Darwin is a variant of BSD and NeXT STEP, both of which are written in C, and can only run on Apple devices.  Microsoft Windows is written in C, C++ and C# and runs on any computer.  This “language barrier” results in the operating systems not always playing together.   

Because there are many enterprises like Alta Vista who use both operating systems, it is of course in the best interest of both vendors to ensure their products can work together, thus, the companies do work together to make that happen.  Despite the companies working together, as new features are introduced by either vendor, it can be a while before fixes/updates are deployed to address compatibility issues.   Below is a list of issues reported and the work arounds we have either been advised to use by Microsoft or that we have found to work as a result of our own internal testing. 


  • Exchange Global Address list contacts:  install Microsoft Outlook App or Outlook Web App (OWA) app 

  • Reoccurring Appointments:  turn off iCloud 

  • Duplicate contacts:  turn off iCloud 

The OWA and Outlook mobile apps will eliminate the problems encountered when accessing the Exchange Global Address Contact list.  Below is an explanation of both apps provided by a Microsoft Engineer. 


“…Generally, there are two main applications people use their email with Office 365 in the Apple mobile devices, Outlook for IOS and OWA for IOS. I have done some research about the differences between them but found no official article about it. 

However, based on my personal experience, when using Outlook for IOS, we can set other email accounts, such as Hotmail, Yahoo, Google accounts into it. It’s not feasible to use these kinds of accounts in OWA for IOS. Also, there are some features supported in OWA for IOS but not in Outlook for IOS, such as accessing shared mailbox and online archive mailbox. 

It’s recommended you refer to the articles below to find more information about the two applications and then decide which to use. 

OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad. 
A deeper look at Outlook for iOS and Android. 



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shawn sanford