Microsoft is ramping up Skype. The new Skype for Business iOS App is now publicly available.
Skype for Business replaces Lync 2013. The business version of the popular messaging and video calling service adds more features and functions meant to make inter-office communication easier and more efficient.
It looks like the messenger app is taking a new path in establishing itself more as a business tool rather than a friends-and-family communication app. It now boasts features held by premium conference tools such as Citrix.
First of all, Skype enhances the user's meeting experience through sections such as upcoming meetings, contacts and recent conversations.
The user may use the contact search bar by keying in email, first name, alias, last name or mobile number. Even your iOS phone contacts are included in the search.
And as many users are logged in multiple devices, Skype automatically syncs in conversations across all the users' devices.
All scheduled meetings are viewable on the left side of the screen.
The full-screen feature makes the meeting experience become more immersive while the enlarged buttons allow callers to easily mute and add participants. The buttons also allow users to conveniently manage calls while on the road. Simultaneous content viewing makes discussions on point.
Skype has also tightened its security and authentication options — perhaps to be at par with emerging rival, Telegram.
Going beyond user name and password security, Skype has opened the Active Directory Authentication Library-based authentication to Office 365 users. The authentication enables the IT admin to configure multi-factor authentication for the Skype for Business iOS app.
"With multi-factor authentication, users are required to acknowledge a phone call, text message or an app notification on their device after correctly entering their username and password. Other Office applications also support ADAL-based authentication, which allows for consistent authentication across your organization," writes Microsoft on its blog.
Skype is downloadable on iTunes store. Lync 2013 users on an iPhone will automatically be updated to the Skype for Business app. iPad owners with Lync 2013 may download the new app from the Store.
Microsoft notes that the Android version of Skype for Business is still on the way, and should be released before the end of the year.
Microsoft's plans to replace Lync were announced last year, as the company began unifying its products under the "for Business" branding. That brand also includes OneDrive for Business, Microsoft's cloud storage service.