Microsoft's Skype upgrades for Android, iOS apps are only for Office 365 subscribers

It's a sneaky way to get more users on Office 365.

Skype users who subscribe to Microsoft’s Office 365 but use Android or iOS hardware have received some significant upgrades: screen sharing on both platforms, as well as a cellular fallback option in case your connectivity goes south.

Screen, or “content,” sharing was already present on the Skype for Business iOS app, but has now been added to Android. Microsoft also acknowledged that content sharing on iOS hadn't been ideal, making upgrades to significantly reduce the latency when content is shared, and to cut the app's power consumption by between 10 percent and 15 percent.

skype cellular call back

If Skype senses that the cellular network is going to drop the conversation, it will offer to switch to a voice call instead.

This Office 365 subset of Skype users will receive another, handy addition: When you’re using your phone on the go, you might roam through an area of poor or weak signal. If that happens, the Skype for Business app promises to proactively alert you that your meeting may be affected. You can opt for Skype to call you back on your voice-only cellular number to continue the call. This option is available on both iOS and Android, but you’ll have to have the Enterprise Voice technology enabled.

Why this matters: Don’t assume that if you use Skype you’ll immediately get access to these nifty new features. If you use the common Skype app for consumers, you’re out of luck. Even if you use Skype for Business by itself ($5.50 per user, per month), you’re out of luck. Microsoft is limiting these upgrades to only those who pay for an annual Office 365 subscription. Oh, so you think you can buy Microsoft’s Office 365 Business Essentials (at a slightly cheaper $5 per user, per month) instead? Sorry, that only gives you access to Office Online, the suite of browser-based apps.

No, Microsoft wants you to pay for the real Office 365, which will run your business about $12.50 per user, per month. That gives you access to the dedicated Office apps, whether it be on a Mac, PC, Android, or iOS device. Only then will you be able to get the best of what Microsoft has to offer.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftSkype for Business

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?