Two months after its debut on the web, Microsoft Flow—not to be confused with the Microsoft Word Flow Keyboard—has arrived in (somewhat limited) mobile app form on iOS. Styled as an IFTTT competitor, Microsoft Flow helps you automate workflows between two or more different cloud services.
A version for Android is coming soon, Microsoft says.
“Using the new capabilities of the Flow app, I’ve managed to make my work life substantially easier,” Microsoft Flow product manager Adi Regev explains. “I use the app to stay up to date on my flows, respond to real-time notifications, investigate failures, get a general view or dive into run details, and much more. Now, with the app available, you are able to do the same.”
Obviously, we need to step back a bit. What is this thing? What’s a flow?
According to the original blog post on Microsoft’s Flow web site, Microsoft Flow makes it easy to “mash-up” two or more different services. (Almost 40, including Office 365, Twitter, OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, MailChimp, SharePoint and others are currently supported.) So when something happens on one service, you can trigger an event on another service.
Some examples Microsoft provides include:
Boss alert. When your boss emails you, you can get a text message.
Stay up-to-date on Twitter. When someone tweets about a particular topic on Twitter, you can save them in an Excel spreadsheet or SQL to review them later.
Copy files between cloud storage services. Copy changed files from OneDrive consumer to OneDrive for Business.
You get the idea. Just like IFTTT, when something happens, you can trigger some action. If this … then that.
So now there’s a mobile app version of Microsoft Flow. The mobile app offers a subset of the web app functionality, and lets you manage, track and explore your automated workflows on the go. You can view flow properties and definitions, turn flows on or off from wherever you are, or review detailed run history reports, Microsoft says. And when a flow runs, you’ll get a pop-up notification with details and a link to find out more.
What you can’t do, most obviously, is create a flow.
Ms. Regev says she use Flow to automatically respond to important emails in real time, get notifications when certain files are updated, and get notifications when certain Twitter keywords are retweeted more than 100 times in a day.
“This is just the start of the journey for the Microsoft Flow app,” she writes. “In the coming weeks and months, you will see us releasing new features on a regular basis, enabling many more capabilities like flow creation, triggering, remediation, approvals, and flows that leverage your actual mobile device signals. Stay tuned for these exciting updates to come.”
Tagged with Microsoft Flow