Confirming Apple’s growing reach in the enterprise, Cisco has announced a range of upcoming features that will benefit any Apple-using knowledge worker using Webex.
Introducing Move to Mobile
Apple and Cisco began working more closely together in 2015, when the companies issued a joint statement promising they would begin “optimizing Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps, integrating iPhone with Cisco enterprise environments and providing unique collaboration on iPhone and iPad.”
The companies have continued this relationship since then, particularly around Webex.
Cisco this week announced Move to Mobile, a new Webex Meetings feature coming in August that will make it easier to move calls between Apple devices and let you make and take them with Apple CarPlay.
Essentially, you’ll be able to begin a meeting on an iPhone or Mac, transition the call easily to CarPlay, and then carry the call out of the car on the phone and back into the office. It’s just the latest in a recent spate of CarPlay enhancements.
The new workplace is where you’re at
It’s a solution that builds on multiple pillars: Apple’s growing presence in business, the long-understood needs of mobile professionals, the growing impact of mobility and employee choice, and the dawning realization that hybrid working environments are more productive and enable smart recruitment on a global scale.
Jeetu Patel, EVP & GM, Security & Collaboration, Cisco, puts it this way, saying:
“Hybrid work is the future of work – and it’s here, now. The modern work environment is not confined to a single space or device anymore. It’s flexible, it’s mobile, it’s connected. We can seamlessly blend work into our lives with collaboration anywhere, at any time.”
How Move to Mobile on Webex works
- You may take a Webex Meeting on your Mac at home but need to travel somewhere.
- The Move to Mobile feature lets you use your iPhone to scan a QR code generated on your Mac and switch the call to your smartphone.
- You can then continue the meeting while you walk to your car, where you connect your phone to the CarPlay system. The call will then switch to your vehicle’s console.
- After your call ends, you can view your upcoming meetings and join directly (in audio-only mode) from CarPlay.
- You can also carry the meeting with you on your phone while you walk to a meeting room, at which point you can continue the call using the Webex conferencing facilities there.
This video, provided by Cisco, shows you how this fits together:
CarPlay also gains meeting catchup tools
Cisco will also add another useful tool in August, when it will make it possible to listen to past Webex recordings with CarPlay, which means you can catch up on missed meetings while you are in transit.
Cisco has introduced several new features to support Webex on iPhones, iPads, and Macs in the last few months. In October ’21 it introduced a new Webex app for iPad, which offers Center Stage, Split View, picture-in-picture, and Apple Pencil support. Since then it has announced AirPlay support and has now made useful improvements to CarPlay functionality.
“More than ever, the hybrid work experience of people in the office depends upon the experience of those not in the office,” said Patel.
Will Webex support Continuity Camera’s Desk View?
Peetu last year told me Cisco has a dedicated team that is “hyper-focused on building features that use Apple’s newest technologies quickly after they are released.”
We know that Apple makes extensive use of Webex for its own communications, so I suppose the next question will be if Cisco is working with Apple’s newly introduced APIs to extend the Webex feature set.
Take Desk View, for example (a component within Continuity Camera): Apple at WWDC introduced APIs to build support for Desk View into apps, and this may make a useful addition to the Webex on Mac arsenal. (As would the iPad’s Freeform collaboration tools, though that seems unlikely just yet, given Apple is still playing catchup with FaceTime.)
All the same, in many different ways, Apple’s partner-focused approach to the needs of the enterprise continues to draw dividends.
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