Microsoft is Killing Sway on iOS

Posted on August 22, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, iOS, Mobile, Office 365 with 15 Comments

Microsoft quietly revealed this week that it is “retiring” its Sway app on iOS and is directing users to the web app version instead. Does this indicate that Sway is on its way out?

“With this change, we’re consolidating our Sway experience,” Microsoft’s Sabrina Mohamed wrote in a forum post. “Sway online provides the same, most up-to-date feature set across platforms and devices. All Sways that you have created or edited on Sway for iOS will continue to exist, and you access them on Sway online.”

Existing users will be able to stick with the iOS app version of Sway until December 17, 2018. After that date, the app will stop working, Microsoft says.

Microsoft announced Sway in late 2014, and it said that the service would initially be served by web and iOS apps, with Android and Windows phone to follow soon thereafter. That Android app version never did appear, though Microsoft later created a Windows 10 native app for the service.

For the uninitiated, Sway was conceived as a new cloud-based way for users to share media and information with others. It was created as a sort-of replacement for PowerPoint, and initially targeted education and other collaborative scenarios. It was added to Office 365 in May 2015 and ported to the iPad too.

But Sway’s biggest impact will be a secret to most: It enabled its users to hit a “remix” button at any time, causing the app to restructure an entire sway into a new layout and design. This functionality, infamously, was later announced as a promised standalone Windows 10 app called Story Remix, which Microsoft ultimately never delivered. Instead, it added this functionality to the Windows 10 Photos app, starting in late 2017. So in some ways, the core of Sway should continue forward, even if the app disappears.


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