If your organization is using SharePoint Online and Office 365, I am sure one of the core user requirements is an ability to access content via mobile devices. Historically, mobile access to SharePoint has been somewhat of a weak spot. There were a handful of 3rd party apps available, which did a decent job, but none were native Microsoft applications. There has been a tremendous shift to mobile in the last few years, as Microsoft started releasing mobile apps to support their Office 365 suite. The mobile strategy has been further set in stone during May 4, 2016 Future of SharePoint event, when they spoke about Intranet in the Pocket approach.
As a result of this anticipated and long-awaited announcement, all the focus has been on the SharePoint App. However, I would also like to share information about other SharePoint and Office 365 Mobile Apps Microsoft mobile apps that already existed for some time. These apps will allow you to have the complete Office 365 mobile experience and will no doubt make you more productive! So let me give you a brief overview of each mobile application. All of the applications below are native Microsoft apps. Please note that below SharePoint and Office 365 Mobile Apps are available for iOS (Apple) mobile devices and not all are available on Android or Windows platforms just yet. Also, when it comes to iOS (Apple) platform itself, some are only available for iPhones and not iPads.
Here are the 5 SharePoint and Office 365 Mobile Apps covered in this post:
- SharePoint App
- OneDrive App
- Office 365 Admin App
- Outlook App
- Outlook Groups App
SharePoint App is the latest mobile application, released to the public in June 2016. It allows employees to connect to SharePoint Online sites from their mobile device and access content such as documents, lists, tasks, links, etc. One important thing to note is that in order to access documents & files using SharePoint App, you also must install OneDrive App on the same mobile device. The two work together, side-by-side. So it might make sense to install the OneDrive App first, then SharePoint App. I will cover OneDrive Mobile app in the next section.
Sites Tab shows sites you visit frequently as well as sites you are following
Links Tab shows same links that are added by your IT Administrator in the new SharePoint Site/Tile on Office 365
People Tab shows users are you frequently interacting with and sharing content with
This is how the site looks like in the SharePoint App. In the center it shows you recently accessed files, while the panel on the left is your Quick Launch with access to other site contents (Quick Launch links)
While SharePoint App is the latest entry in the mobile space of Office 365, OneDrive App has been out there for a while now. As you have probably guessed it – it allows users to access their OneDrive account. It works with both, the personal OneDrive account and user’s OneDrive for Business account (part of their company’s Office 365 account). You can also use the OneDrive App to access files and documents from SharePoint sites by clicking on the Sites tab. You won’t see complete sites though, like in the SharePoint App – just files and folders from those sites. OneDrive App, unlike its SharePoint App cousin, is just about files and folders.
The Files Tab displays all folders…
… and files
Office 365 Admin App
This one is for those who have Admin access to Office 365 environment (IT guys). The app allows you to administer Office 365 account from you mobile device (iPad, etc.). You obviously don’t have all the bells and whistles of the computer experience, but you can manage users, and other aspects of Office 365 environment. This is a great way to access Office 365 Admin panel “on the go”.
This is the main screen allowing you to access all different functionalities within Office 365 Administration
User Management Screen. Allows you to manage users, block them, reset passwords, etc.
Office 365 Health Monitor screen
I don’t think I need to explain what this is. Quite possible you are already using this mobile app. Essentially, the Outlook app is your email app. Just like with OneDrive App, you can connect your personal outlook email, as well as the company email you get as part of Company Office 365 subscription. In addition to email conversations, you can access your calendar, as well as tap into files from your OneDrive account.
This is how your Outlook email looks like on the mobile device
Outlook Calendar in the Outlook Mobile App
Files tab allows you to tap into files stored on your OneDrive or other cloud sharing services
Outlook Groups App
In case you are using Office 365 Groups, this app is for you. It allows you to hold conversations with various Office 365 group members right from your mobile device. All the Office 365 groups you are part of in Office 365 are available on your mobile device. A very convenient way to exchange communication with you team members while you sit on a beach drinking martini.
Outlook Groups App Welcome screen where you login (authenticate) the first time you use the app
The home screen shows all the Office 365 Groups user is part of
This shows how Office 365 Group looks on the Mobile Device. You can do almost everything you can on the computer: Start and participate in the conversations, access files, calendar and notebook.