Microsoft launched the SharePoint mobile app for iOS devices on June 21. The app is designed to enable mobile workers to carry their corporate intranet with them and access key materials from wherever they are.
Microsoft is also building SharePoint mobile apps for Android and Windows Universal, both of which it plans to launch by the end of 2016.
The new SharePoint app for iOS gives users quick access to their team sites, content, organization portals, and resources. It also provides workers with insight into what their colleagues are working on.
Microsoft has integrated the app with intelligence from Microsoft Graph, which takes activity from Office 365 and applies machine learning to connect users with people and documents relevant to them.
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SharePoint for iOS works with SharePoint Online in Office 365, SharePoint Server 2013, and SharePoint Server 2016, both on-premises and in hybrid environments. After downloading and launching the app, users can sign in with their SharePoint info and switch between accounts.
Let's take a closer look at the different components of SharePoint for iOS:
The People tab gives insight into what colleagues are working on. Access this tab to search for colleagues within your network, view their contact card, and learn about their current projects and who they are working with. Info is based on intelligence powered by Office 365.
Links brings users to sites and portals intended for company-wide use, curated by SharePoint administrators from the SharePoint home in Office 365. In a blog post announcing the iOS offering, Microsoft's Mark Kashman, senior product manager for the SharePoint team, acknowledged the importance of responsive, mobile-designed portals. He noted the company is investing in responsive design by default for services including Office 365, Delve, and Office 365 Video.
On an individual level, the Sites tab brings users to specific sites they follow or visit frequently. Clicking on a site displays recent activity, recently used files, and assets such as documents, pages, lists, and subsites.
SharePoint also links to other Office apps. For example, clicking a recently used file will launch the corresponding Office app. Clicking a SharePoint document library within a team site will launch the iOS OneDrive app for viewing and managing Office 365 files.
The Search function in SharePoint is a full enterprise search that can be used to find team sites, company portals, OneDrive for Business folders (which users have access to), content recommendations from Microsoft Graph, and content and people from the intranet.
Microsoft has been investing in evolving its intranet since the company released a post called "The Future of SharePoint" in May. At the time it shared its plans to build a more personalized experience into a mobile and intelligent intranet.
The new SharePoint mobile app is part of Microsoft's broader vision. At the time it detailed its vision, Microsoft shared plans to create a mobile app driven by Office Graph intelligence. The app would improve access to personal and company-wide sites, portals, and contacts.
The company also plans to launch:
- a new SharePoint home in Office 365
- modern team sites in Office 365 Groups
- updates to document libraries and lists
- responsive page authoring
It also announced that SharePoint would be integrated with Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.
Up next, Kashman said in his blog post, Microsoft will continue improving the SharePoint app on iOS with new features such as companywide announcements.