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iPhone, iPad and Mac users: How to access the same SharePoint collaboration and communication capabilities as Windows users

SharePoint’s collaboration and communications features aren’t just for Windows users–learn how users with Apple hardware can also take advantage of those benefits.

Image: Shutterstock/Nata Bene

The COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding need to maintain operations by working remotely has placed a priority on team collaboration and communication. With Microsoft SharePoint’s support for iOS, iPadOS and macOS, professionals using iPhones, iPads and Macs can participate the same as colleagues using PCs and Windows regardless of where the work is performed.

Microsoft 365 delivers SharePoint as a cloud-based service, which requires only a web browser (e.g., Apple Safari) to access and administer. SharePoint can share and manage content and permit employees and authorized users to post information and participate without needing advanced programming skills. Plus, SharePoint connects to and extends PowerApps, Power BI and other Microsoft 365 services and investments.

SEE: The future of work: Tools and strategies for the digital workplace (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Using such SharePoint-powered tools as group calendars and milestone tracking, document and attachment storage and commenting and replying, teams can better coordinate operations and project planning and execution. So configured, new teams can be created within Microsoft Teams that leverage the SharePoint backend to simplify maintaining conversations, loading and accessing documents, and performing other collaboration activities. In fact, SharePoint users can create and structure new teams without requiring help from IT.

How Apple users can take advantage of SharePoint’s features

Using the iPhone and iPad app, users can access SharePoint sites by downloading and installing Microsoft’s free dedicated SharePoint app; all that’s required is the proper corresponding Microsoft 365 subscription. Once logged in, the SharePoint app presents a dashboard (Figure A) displaying frequent sites, which often map to various teams created within Microsoft Teams. Within the People section, the app lists the contacts with whom you often interact. Recent files and featured links are displayed beneath these contacts.

Figure A

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Microsoft’s dedicated SharePoint app permits accessing the collaboration platform’s features using mobile Apple devices.

Image: Microsoft

iPhone and iPad users access SharePoint files and folders by tapping the corresponding site and navigating to the proper file or folder. Activity, such as newly posted or edited files, can be reviewed by clicking through to the corresponding site. Beneath recent activities, SharePoint presents the site’s corresponding news, such as a new informational post.

Using the SharePoint app, iPhone and iPad users can also create new folders or Word documents, Excel workbooks, PowerPoint presentations and OneNote notebooks using the iPad’s New button (the New option is accessed from the More icon when using the smaller iPhone interface). Alternatively, mobile Apple device users can load new files using the Upload option or even access lists, conversations, calendars, project and issue tracker lists and the document library using the provided hamburger button.

Using macOS, Mac users access and interact with SharePoint sites using a standard web browser. Alternatively, when so configured, the Microsoft Teams Mac app can be used to access sites, edit files, post news and updates and otherwise interact with SharePoint-powered resources. Cross-platform support is improving, as demonstrated by SharePoint’s support for a variety of platforms, whether a PC or iPhone (Figure B).

Figure B

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SharePoint provides a powerful combination of communications and collaboration features that can be accessed using a variety of devices, from a Windows PC to an Apple iPhone.

Image: Microsoft

Because the iPhone and iPad SharePoint app and macOS interface include a powerful search as well as the ability to bookmark specific posts and start new conversations, the service enables completing tasks while working from a variety of devices and locations. Regardless of the platform—Windows PC, iPhone, iPad or Mac—SharePoint’s evolving innovations could make it the right solution at the right time for organizations and teams striving to stay connected during disconnected times.

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