Mobile SharePoint: What IT professionals need to know

2 May 2013
Software News

For IT professionals that work in offices with bring-your-own-device policies that also use SharePoint, it's important to know about the changes to mobile functions within the latest version of the software. The 2013 edition of SharePoint has many features that are designed to increase the ease of use for mobile products. 

However, not all devices can currently support SharePoint. IT workers should deduce which products are SharePoint capable and which are not so they can help employees determine which smartphone or tablet is right for them. 

Most of the major smartphones are SharePoint enabled. The Widows Phone, with the Internet Explorer mobile browser, can run SharePoint as long as the operating system is version 7.5 or later, according to Microsoft. As for iPhones, the Safari 5.0 browser or any other later edition can access SharePoint 2013. However, the news source notes that videos don't play for all versions. Safari browsers that are 6.0 or later are the only ones that will be able to stream video via the business collaboration software. The same sort of dynamic applies for Android users – although SharePoint works with Android 4.0, video can only be played with Android 4.1 or any later version. 

Tablets are also able to access SharePoint, Microsoft says. All Android, Windows and Safari browsers will run the program, though the source notes that employees working on iPads will need a second or third generation device with at least iOS 6.0 for all SharePoint features to function. 

SharePoint apps on the iPad
According to Forrester, tablet usage will boom in the next few years. By 2015, the company expects global tablet sales to top 375 million per year, up from the 56 million units Forrester estimated were sold in 2011. 

With increased workplace mobility, IT professionals will need proper SharePoint 2013 training so that they are aware of how to address the software in a mobile environment. With the iPad currently leading the tablet market, the need to know which SharePoint apps work best with the Apple product is important for IT workers.

TechRepublic notes that one of the best apps SharePoint users can access on the iPad is SharePlus. A free app, the source notes that it's specifically made with the iPad interface in mind, making it easy to use SharePoint on tablets. It would be a smart recommendation to employees looking to access the software on their iPads.  

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