Nick Robinson is a senior product marketing manager on the Office 365 team.
American founding father Benjamin Franklin famously said, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” In order to yield your greatest results, organization and access to each tool you need to accomplish your goals is paramount. Getting organized. Some people are naturally great at this, some people drag their feet and kick their heels. But there is no doubt that organization can yield results—at home, at work or at school.
Today we are announcing the Office 365 app launcher and My apps. The features will enable a new level of organization, personalization and access to all of the services that make up your Office 365 and more.
The Office 365 app launcher provides a new navigation experience where all your apps are easily available from the top navigation bar. You can quickly launch your email, documents, spreadsheets, calendar and presentations. As we add more services to Office 365 like Delve and Yammer, the horizontal list of applications simply does not scale effectively or provide quick access to all applications. Not only are many applications hidden behind an ellipsis menu, some priority applications like PowerPoint, Excel and Word are not available in the top navigation at all.
The app launcher offers a customizable single point of access to the applications you use daily. Simply click the top left app launcher icon to open the app launcher—from there you can launch into creating documents, presentations or check Yammer for the latest updates from colleagues. The app launcher enables you to put your important tools where you want them—using the pin and un-pin functionality.
In addition to the app launcher, we are also launching a new customization feature that provides the option for you to pin up to three applications to the right side of the top nav bar. In this way, your tool box is equipped to accommodate the most used tools with direct access, and provides quick access to the rest of your apps via the app launcher. As part of the release of the app launcher, organizations who have a set a custom theme will see their custom logo move to the center of the top nav bar.
My apps page—where all your apps live
We are also introducing the My apps page. The My apps page is the single destination location where all Office 365 apps, plus additional apps you add to Office 365 live. In the My apps page you can easily launch, manage and eventually add apps. Just click the ellipsis to display a contextual menu, which includes app details and description, pin/un-pin or remove an app.
Access the My apps feature at the bottom right of the app launcher pane. When you decide to un-pin an application from the app launcher, the app will reside in the My apps page and is available to re-pin at any time.
As we move forward with the app launcher and the My apps experience, you will see further integration and availability of additional applications. The Office 365 online experience will continue to expand to include an app store providing customers access to a variety of applications to further extend and customize. With these customization options, a place for everything, and everything in its place becomes achievable in Office 365.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. When will I see these features in my Office 365 environment?
A. Customers that have opted into First Release will see them later this month. Others will start to see the update in November.
Q. Will I have the pin/ un-pin capability?
A. Yes, but only customers with Exchange will have the ability to pin and un-pin at this time.
Q. How do I get additional apps?
A. Additional apps are available from the Office store.
Q. Are there any resources available to help me communicate this change to end users in my organization?
A. Yes, there is an email template available on the Office 365 Success Center to communicate this change. This email is designed for you to send to your organization on the roll-out of this new feature and includes customizable surfaces to reflect your organization’s brand and resources. You can also review the associated help article.