Apple introduced the CallKit with iOS 10 this year; CallKit allows 3rd party applications to integrate with iOS for their calling needs – VOIP applications such as Skype and WhatsApp can integrate with CallKit, allowing iOS users to receive VOIP calls with the native iOS calling experience.
Microsoft has now announced that Skype for Business will integrate with CallKit and bring a more native experience to iOS users.
It’s clear that Microsoft is working on expanding their software services, rather than their hardware market share – this directly benefits iOS, and makes it a more viable enterprise device.
iOS suffers from a lot of restrictions – some of these limitations are on purpose, and are in fact benefiting to the users in regards to performance and security; the CallKit integration gives apps the opportunity to get around some of these restrictions, and provide a much better experience.
Here’s what the new integration will let Skype for Business do:
Lock screen barrier: CallKit on iOS allows for receiving calls while the phone is locked – you no longer need the Skype for Business app open to receive calls.
Integrate with the calls interface: Skype for Business now shows up in the native iOS calling interface – you can make a call via Skype for Business and it will behave just like a native cellular call would.
More control between VOIP and Cellular calls: If you happen to receive a cellular call while you are having a conversation via Skype for Business – you can now put the Skype for Business call on hold and receive the cellular call, all from the native iOS interface.
Integration with call logs: Calls made or received with Skype for Business will now show up in the native iOS call log. The integration, however, can be controlled by the IT team of your organization – more on that in a moment.
Here’s the TL;DR: A Skype for Business call now behave just like a native iOS cellular call does, and integrates with the native iOS call experience.
Of course, this is an extensive feature – not every organization would want to have such a thing, for reasons ranging from security to convenience. Therefore, Microsoft allows IT admins of an organization to disable features such as call log integration. This feature can be disabled on a per-device basis as well.
Users and IT admins can also turn off the full CallKit integration if they desire – going back to the way things were, before this update.
The update is now available for the users of Skype for Business and is rolling out.
If your organization offers Skype for Business, here’s a link to the Apple App Store if you want to download it.