After months of beta, Microsoft has finally released the final version of Skype for Business on Android. The improvements are quite numerous and following a significant change of interface, since the new application looks more like Skype that Lync 2013, it replaces.
Skype for Business is now available in final version on Android. The novelties are numerous enough, to start with a new interface, much closer to Skype. Regulars Lync will therefore make it, but Microsoft says in its blog post that the goal was ultimately to save time for users, including shortening the time that we put to find or access certain features .
New interface and simplified access to key features
The new Skype for Business wants so give easy access to main functions. To do this, it proposes a new instrument panel bringing together key information that an employee might need. For example, all recent conversations are displayed, as well as upcoming appointments and contacts search bar. On current events, a small icon to connect to a meeting and launch the video if necessary (Quick Join function). Moreover, the controls on the latter were swollen, especially the buttons to add participants and mute the microphone.
The contact area was enhanced to more quickly find a particular person. The search bar allows to find a contact by classifying them by name, contact email address or phone number. The application also allows to search for the groups already organized by the company. Adding and deleting the other hand have been simplified.
For companies, the arrival of Skype for Business also means the possibility of introducing modern authentication mechanisms if the fleet of smartphones is Android. The mechanism uses access tokens and does not store user IDs on the device. It especially allows administrators to set up the two-factor authentication for employees, they then to configure an email address, a phone number or declare an application to receive notification and confirm the connection.
Trouble with calls to certain terminals
However, despite the benefits put forward by Microsoft, we must not look far to see some limitations. For example, integration with Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL) and the support of two-factor authentication are valid only for remote servers Skype for Business. Those on-site (on-premise) are not yet supported, and the companies concerned will have to wait a couple more months. There is no integration with other Intune and report problems on calls. On the official blog, a user says for example that with a Nexus 6 P Android 6.0.1, conferences and telephone calls disconnect soon after being established.
Skype for Business requires a minimum of Android 4.0 to run. However, it now seems that some tablets can not download the latest version of the application (currently 188.8.131.52). According to our tests, for example, a Galaxy Tab with Android 4.0.4 does not install the mobile application, even though it is supposed to be compatible. A Transformer TF100 with the same version arrived there by cons without problems.
The application can be retrieved from the Google Play store.