Microsoft's Reported Email App Targets iOS - InformationWeek

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5/20/2015
12:10 PM
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Microsoft's Reported Email App Targets iOS

A Microsoft slip leaked information on new chat app Flow, which works alongside Outlook to deliver faster messaging on Apple devices.

9 iOS, Android Apps to Boost Productivity
9 iOS, Android Apps to Boost Productivity
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Reports have surfaced claiming that Microsoft is developing a new email app for smartphones. The service, entitled "Flow by Outlook," will supposedly operate alongside Outlook to deliver faster chat capabilities to iOS.

Details on the project came from a publicly accessible site described as "Microsoft Confidential" and were brought to attention by Twitter user @h0x0d. Microsoft has not confirmed the details of Flow, ZDNet reports.

According to the page description, Flow will enable "fast, fluid, natural conversations" without subject lines, salutations, or signatures. While the system will be powered by email, correspondence will have more of an instant-message feel.

[iOS vs. Android: What's Best for Enterprise Security?]

Users will be able to chat with anyone who has an email address, as Flow and Outlook can be used interchangeably to participate in chats. Only conversations sparked in Flow and their replies, will show in the app and not the Inbox to allow for better focus on each discussion.

(Image: michalPuchala/iStockphoto.com)

(Image: michalPuchala/iStockphoto.com)

Microsoft has dedicated efforts to streamlining communication in the past. Video messaging app Skype Qik premiered on iOS, Android and Windows Phone in October 2014. The service was built on Skype and designed to enable short, simple video exchanges for those who didn't want to set up a longer call.

According to the leaked site, Flow will solely be available for iOS devices at first. This is nothing new for Microsoft, which brought Outlook to both iOS and Android back in January. Both apps arrived shortly after Microsoft's acquisition of email startup Acompli, which aimed to help people better organize their inboxes, schedule meetings, and handle their attachments and files.

Microsoft has also recently announced that other services like Cortana, Delve, and Office Lens will be compatible with iOS. When Windows 10 launches, developers will also be able to port iOS and Android apps to Windows Universal apps.

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Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
5/20/2015 | 5:43:56 PM
Re: Go with the Flow
I agree, and with iPhone still ruling the BYOD space, it makes sense to bring the app to iOS first. No doubt it'll come to Windows Phone eventually, it's just a matter of when.
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
5/20/2015 | 3:52:53 PM
Re: Go with the Flow
I think a lot of it has to do with the large amount of mixed environments running iOS and Microsoft platforms.  Getting internal collaboration across multiple platforms isn't necessarily the easiest thing to do, especially when iOS is such a closed system.  Lync still isn't where it needs to be on iOS, so this seems like a good step in the right direction.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
5/20/2015 | 2:04:01 PM
Go with the Flow
Its actually nice to see Microsoft trying to cross boundaries and make something that will only strengthen their business and technology values. They will be bringing this to the windows phone as well, because duh. 
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