Harmon.ie app unifies Office 365 on iPads, Android tablets

Harmon.ie app unifies Office 365 on iPads, Android tablets

Summary: Using Office 365 in enterprises isn't always easy on iPads and Android devices. A new update to an already useful third-party app makes it possible to share and collaborate from a single window.

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Big corporations don’t use Office 365 like the rest of us. In enterprise settings, working life revolves around SharePoint, where files are stored securely for remote access and collaboration by employees and trusted partners. Increasingly, Yammer, Microsoft’s enterprise-grade private social networking tool for corporations, is a part of the mix too.

On traditional PCs and notebooks, using Office with those services is easy. On mobile devices running non-Microsoft operating systems, not so much. Although it’s possible to access individual services from a web browser, the experience is disjointed, and many capabilities that should be easy, such as editing a shared document, are difficult or impossible.

For an IT pro, the nightmare scenario is that employees with iPads or Android devices will skip the corporate site and use unauthorized tools like Dropbox, which dramatically increase the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access to corporate files.

One worthy alternative is Harmon.ie, a clever mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices. A new release of the app for iOS, announced today, provides iPad users a consolidated view of the corporate tools in Office 365 enterprise editions—Lync, SharePoint, SkyDrive Pro, and Yammer—that also enables sharing and editing. (Yammer integration will be available in the Android app in a future update, after Microsoft releases an update to the Yammer SDK.)

Yammer 1

Screenshot: courtesy Harmon.ie

From the Harmon.ie app on an iPad or Android tablet, an Office 365 user can open a document link directly in the Office Web App for editing. Instead of being kicked into a separate window, the document appears directly in the app, in an embedded browser. Similarly, anyone using the app can save email attachments directly to SharePoint or mark them for offline use. (Saved files are protected using the native encryption capabilities in iOS 7.)

Harmon.ie is one of several third-party tools aimed at Office 365 from a growing developer community. A light version of the app that supports document viewing only is free; the premium version for iOS costs $20. Enterprises can license the app for $4 per user per month, which provides BYOD support (including integration with popular mobile device management tools) and enables installation on multiple devices. The Android app is available here.

Topics: Mobility, Android, iPad, Microsoft

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4 comments
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  • Think about the corporate cost of that...

    $48 a year per user just to do something that a PC can already do. Just get something like a Dell Venue 8 Pro and stop trying to force these neutered mobile OSs to do real work.
    Rann Xeroxx
    • Think about the corporate cost of productivity!

      It's all about using the right tool for the job at hand. There is not a whole lot of point in using a hammer on a screw....

      The simple reality is that *no* tablet device is particularly good for editing Office documents.

      Windows tablets suffer from the fact that Office is not optimised for touch.. forcing you to use it like a laptop, but with a tiny screen and limited power. For any serious work, you will lose so much time that you might as well use a real computer.

      Andriod/iOS tablets suffer from the lack of any version of Office at all...

      However, work does not revolve entirely around Office.... When it comes to custom apps, email, navigation, note-taking, mobile invoicing, expenses tracking, there is nothing that beats the iOS tablets, with Andriod a close second.

      My advice is thus... carry a tablet, and use it for what it is good for. Keep a computer handy for those times when you need to work seriously on a spreadsheet or word doc.
      TheSceptic
  • So very close!

    (Sigh) I have to agree with Rann, I love my Ipad and for my writing of books, it's ok but getting and keeping revisions updated across platforms is a challenge. And I'm just tired of Apple ignoring the hues and cry's for a darn SD storage card slot. Transfers would still be clunky but a lot less hassle for a Luddite like me that just does not have time to 'play the game'. I feel that One More Year and the Tablet PC will be very strong, practical and affordable.
    Paw Angel
    • They table PCs are already practical and affordable. There are plenty of

      them out there right now. They are Windows 8 machines, and they work as Rann Xeroxx above pointed out.

      What you really meant to say is that, iPads might some day be strong and practical and affordable.
      adornoe