My wish list for Dynamics has become more and more ambitious—and we keep seeing progress. In 2013, the list included a better mobile experience with Microsoft Dynamics. And Microsoft delivered, with a native app for iPad, Windows, and Android tablets. In 2014 and 2015, I asked for more functionality to be packed in the tablet app and for phone apps for iPhone or Android devices. Again and again, Microsoft continued improving the experience. This year, in 2016, I didn’t even have to ask! Microsoft just came out with the Dynamics 365 release of the mobile CRM app — and it’s way more than a stocking stuffer!
The only logical conclusion is that Santa himself wants to get away from the North Pole more and more, but still, keep tabs on his elves’ production and productivity.
All Mobile Devices (tablet or phone)
At first glance, the Dynamics 365 mobile app looks completely new—and in a way it is. The styling of the app carries forward some of the same design principles, however, this is definitely a nice next-generation update. That said, this new Dynamics 365 mobile CRM experience is accessed using the exact same app from the app store (iTunes, Google Play, Windows Store). What this means for users is a seamless upgrade without having to uninstall/reinstall. The app uses data from the user’s organization to provide the visuals, so it all depends on whether you connect to a traditional CRM Online vs a Dynamics 365 instance. When connecting to Dynamics 365 there are several very obvious changes:
- A new color scheme – much more vibrant
- The related record cards stack are now in a single wide column, making them easier to interact with
- The app takes better use of the device’s integrated features (camera, for example)
- We get a “front page” that can be called up from any screen to see our pinned records as well as suggestions from the relationship assistant (more on the relationship assistant in another post)
The front page is another nice addition. It gives immediate access to a few common actions like quickly creating a new record or taking after-meeting notes. The latter was previously available through a separate menu; however, this relocation is a welcome one at this particular task flow is commonly used in many organizations.
The most notable update is that the layout and design have really taken advantage of the higher-resolution tablets that have been released. It’s easy to appreciate the higher pixel density (and screen sizes in the case of the iPad Pro) and what that offers us in added real estate on the screen.
Now when looking at a dashboard, the elements on the page “pop” more and we’re seeing more than one element in each column. This comes without having to compromise on the responsiveness of the touch interface.
This will mean that scanning through a relationship 360 before an upcoming meeting will be more efficient due to less scrolling and a more intuitive interface.
Mobile Phone Experience
The phone experience retains its slimmed-down approach to how much is displayed on the screen. We use swipes side-to-side in order to see the various elements from the page. Likewise, the “front page” overlay slides in over the entire window while retaining the context of whatever you were working on in the background. The reformatting of the related record cards goes a long way toward making the best use of the smaller space available on a mobile device.
A picture is worth a thousand words. In that spirit, here’s a side-by-side image showing the previous version on the left and the Dynamics 365 version on the right.