Microsoft announced today that it has shipped very early preview versions of its Skype for Business app for both Android and iOS. Today’s releases come about a month after a general release on Windows phones.
Microsoft delivered Skype for Business for Windows phones in early July, providing a new look and feel, improved notifications, enhanced security features, and conversation sync. That release followed the initial release of Skype for Business by about three months.
This week’s preview releases of Skype for Business Preview for Android and iOS are not broadly available. That is, you can’t just visit the app store on your phone and download them. In fact, you can’t even really join the preview as an individual. Instead, Microsoft is opening the preview program to IT administrators, who can nominate up to four users on Android and iOS to participate. And you gotta move fast: Visit the Skype Preview web site by Friday to be considered in the first round of testing.
With that out of the way, here’s what’s new.
Redesigned. The new mobile clients bring not only Skype branding, Microsoft says, but a simpler, more modern experience.
New dashboard with access to your contacts, calls and meetings, all in one place.
Improved Contact Search bar for searching your global address list (GAL) by first name, last name, email alias or phone number. On iOS only, your phone contacts are also included in the search.
Improved navigation between video and content so you can optionally view content and the speaker’s video at the same time.
View of upcoming appointments in your calendar, click through to read more, or click a Quick Join icon to join the meeting right away.
Full screen video.
Recent conversations, a list for referencing your most recent chats, phone calls and meetings.