Microsoft announced last night that the Skype for Business app for Windows Phone is now available. This new client joins Skype for Business for Windows as well as the server- and cloud-based Skype for Business Server and Skype for Business Online in Office 365.
“The new app includes improved notifications, enhanced security features, updated emoticons and synchronization of conversations across devices—PCs, tablets, and phones—as long as you’re running the latest server software,” a Microsoft representative told me. “As on-the-go work increases, the Skype for Business app on Windows Phone helps people meet and communicate with their teams from anywhere.”
If you were previously using the Lync 2013 app on Windows Phone, you could be automatically updated to the new Skype for Business app, Microsoft says, but the experience varies depending on which version of the Windows Phone OS you’re running:
Windows Phone 8.1. If you are using Windows Phone 8.1 or newer and are currently using the Lync 2013 mobile app, it will be automatically replaced by the Skype for Business app. (If you do not have the Lync 2013 app, you can download the new Skype for Business app in the Windows Phone Store.)
Windows Phone 8.0. If you are using Windows Phone 8.0, you will continue to use Lync 2013 or Lync 2010, and will not be offered the Skype for Business app update. The Lync app will still work even if your workplace is running the new Skype for Business Server.
Skype for Business for Windows Phone offers the following new features:
New look and feel. If you’re familiar with the consumer Skype app, Skype for Business will look and feel familiar. Skype for Business also offers over 100 emoticons, Microsoft notes.
Improved notifications. If you receive a conversation notification on your phone, your other Skype for Business clients (PCs, tablets, whatever) will no longer prevent you from responding on your phone.
Enhanced security. Skype for Business for Windows Phone provides at-rest data encryption: your conversation history and voicemail is encrypted by default.
Conversation sync. Your most recent conversations are now synchronized across devices whether they took place on your PC, tablet or phone, Microsoft says. However, this feature requires that your workplace is using the latest server software. This capability will come to Office 365 soon as well.