Of late, Microsoft has been making a tremendous push for Android and has been releasing several of their services and features on the Android platform. Obviously, this is great news for those who own an Android device but also prefer using Microsoft products. Well, one of their arguably biggest services is Skype which has been widely available in app form for Android for some considerable time. However, that is only for the personal version of Skype.
Skype for Business was launched in April as a replacement for Lync, but until now it’s been limited to desktop users. However, Microsoft has now announced a preview version of Skype for Business in app form for Android and iOS to promote the enterprise-focused version of Skype to mobile devices.
Through the new apps, Skype for Business offers features that show the user’s contacts, latest conversations, upcoming appointment, an updated In-Call, and In-Meeting experience all on their dashboard unlike the normal app which just shows the users recent conversations by default.
Jared Goralnick, principal group programme manager for the Skype for Business team claimed the Skype for Business app has been developed specifically to make navigating calls and meetings easier on smartphones and tablets.
The dashboard in the new app displays a search bar to find contacts. Skype users can look for contacts from the dashboard by first name, last name, alias or phone numbers, and on Apple their phone contacts are automatically updated in search as well. During presentations, users can view both content and the video stream of the person speaking on the same screen.
Users can also click through to read more information about upcoming meetings or select ‘Quick Join’ to enter an ongoing session immediately.
In addition, the calling feature comes with bigger display buttons for muting, including participants and managing user’s calls and also full screens for video chats. Also, switching from video and text is easier since the users can now have the option to see both on screen simultaneously.
Microsoft will test the new apps by providing previews to select users. IT administrators can sign up for the preview and they can nominate eight iOS and Android users, up to four of each to test the preview. However, users will have to apply before August 14 to be part of the first batch of the users. After the initial test batch Microsoft will pick new testers on random.
When Skype for Business app will be introduced, users with the Lync 2013 app will get an automatic update. The apps will be compatible with Skype for Business Server 2015 and Skype for Business Online.