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Microsoft Releases SharePoint iOS Mobile App

Microsoft today released its SharePoint mobile application for Apple iOS devices.

It's the first mobile platform rollout of Microsoft's new SharePoint client experience, marketed as "your intranet in your pocket." These mobile apps have a responsive design to fit various screen sizes, providing user access to Sites, Links, People and Search SharePoint functions. The mobile rollout, as well as a newly launched SharePoint home page for end users, are all part of Microsoft's more user friendly SharePoint user experiences. It was a major theme of Microsoft's May SharePoint 2016 launch event.

The SharePoint mobile app for iOS is supported by Office Graph machine learning technology in the background. Office Graph uses Microsoft's enterprise search technology, enabling access to people and resources within an organization.

With Office Graph support, the Sites tab in the iOS mobile app will show the user's frequently visited sites, as well as associated documents and lists. The Links tab shows sites for general organizational access that were set up by the IT department. The People tab shows the contact "cards" of people within the organization that the user works with. The Search tab launches an enterprise search that's "filtered by sites, files and people," according to Microsoft's announcement, and it also will check OneDrive folders.

The SharePoint mobile app actually can launch the OneDrive app. The two apps work together, according to this Microsoft support document.

The new SharePoint iOS mobile app works with the SharePoint Online service of Office 365, which is hosted in Microsoft's datacenters. It also works with SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint Server 2016 housed in an organization's infrastructure. In addition, Microsoft claims that the app will work with "hybrid" SharePoint deployments that use both hosted and premises-based infrastructures.

Microsoft's mobile apps for SharePoint support various authentication methods, such as "AAD [Azure Active Directory], NTLM [NT LAN Manager] and FBA [Forms-Based Authentication]," according to Andy Haon, principal group program manager for OneDrive and SharePoint, in this Microsoft Channel 9 video. It's possible to use the mobile apps with multiple accounts, he said. In addition, Microsoft has devised a way to get user feedback from its mobile apps by simply shaking the device, which will bring up a feedback application.

Microsoft is planning to add future support in its mobile apps for "cross-company news and announcements." That improvement will arrive "later this year." Still to come from Microsoft are the mobile SharePoint client apps for Android and Windows. The mobile Android app is planned for arrival at the end of this month, while the mobile Windows app is coming later this year, according to Microsoft's announcement late last month.

In other SharePoint user news, Microsoft's "modern document libraries" improvements are already starting to arrive. Microsoft earlier announced they'd arrive for Office 365 commercial subscribers sometime this month.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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