When Microsoft said earlier in the week that Yammer wasn’t merely the social layer for SharePoint, it meant it. Last night, it unveiled a new round of upgrades for Yammer that will make it more mobile and embedded across the wider Microsoft portfolio.
Unlike the apps for Office, which were released for iOS and Android months apart, the Yammer upgrades for iOS and Android have landed at the same time.
New Ways to Collaborate
Microsoft has added Yammer to wearable Android devices through support for Yammer Wear. That will enable users to interact with messages on Android watches and other wearable devices.
The upgrades advance CEO Satya Nadella’s Cloud First, Mobile First Strategy and push Yammer into more homes and workplaces. Since it bought Yammer in 2012, the team that is overseeing its development has been one of the most productive in Microsoft with Carlos Bohórquez Marín, product marketing manager for the Yammer team, pointing out in a blog post that it has focused on delivering “week enhancements” to Yammer’s mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Those updates now include profile and group viewing and editing, improved search and notifications, integrated message translation to 25 languages, performance and reliability gains.
Interestingly, there was nothing in last night’s announcement for Windows Phone or Yammer for Windows 10.
Yammer for iOS and Android
But back to Yammer for iOS and Android. The new Handoff feature that Microsoft announced for iOS will allow users move between Apple products, both on the desktop and on mobile devices, with a swipe of their finger.
The Android support for wearables means exactly that. Your Android wearable device will offer at least some of the functionality of Android phones enabling users to ‘like’, team messages or reply to messages using voice.
On top of this, users of Safari, Chrome and other apps will bel able to share links, photos and more into a Yammer group, while the LED on Android phones will flash to let users know a team member, or colleague are reaching out to them..
These are small but significant improvements to Yammer, but part of an overall drive to hasten the pace of innovation and user sign-up to Yammer.
"The pace of innovation on our Yammer mobile apps will only accelerate. We want to craft intuitive, powerful mobile experiences that enable teams to collaborate openly, individuals to scale their impact and organizations to bring down silos so everyone can do more and achieve more, Marín wrote in the blog post.
The announcement dovetails with word on Monday that Microsoft has poached Michael Gough, vice president of experience design for Adobe. He will join Microsoft as vice president of design for the Applications and Services Group.
In that capacity, he is tasked with leading design across some of Microsoft’s most important products including Office 365 and will lead the design of individual products, cross-product experiences and next-generation products and services.