First Read

A first take on enterprise IT technology news and events.

8x8 Unveils Mobile UC App for Android Devices

The new Virtual Office Mobile 4.0 app, also offered for iPhones and iPads, lets users video call over 4G and WiFi networks.

8x8 is bringing its mobile unified communications technology to smartphones and tablets running Google's Android operating system.

The company on Sept. 19 announced version 4.0 of its Virtual Office mobile app, which adds such unified communications (UC) capabilities as video calling over 4G and WiFi networks, visual voicemail, and management of instant messaging/presence and fax systems. The UC app is already available for Apple's iPhones and iPads, which run the iOS operating system.

The new version of the app gives businesses that have instituted bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies a single UC solution that can run on most of the mobile devices currently being used, according to 8x8 Chairman and CTO Bryan Martin.

"8x8's Virtual Office Mobile apps for Android and iOS devices offer businesses the most secure and complete cloud PBX and unified communications capabilities available today for mobile devices," Martin said in a statement. "As the BYOD phenomenon continues to grow in popularity, it's services like Virtual Office Mobile that will enable businesses to fully embrace and benefit from this dramatic transition in the workplace."

By using Virtual Office Mobile for Android, business users can put their office extensions onto their smartphone or tablet, and conduct voice, video and conference calls over 4G and WiFi. In addition, all voicemails are displayed in a scrollable list for easier review, and users can check whether a co-worker is available, busy on a call or offline and send instant messages.

Business users also can view and manage incoming and sent faxes, record calls on demand, "park" a call and pick it up on another business phone, and use such PBX features as call transfer, conference bridging and four-digit extension dialing from a corporate directory.

In addition, businesses can have outbound calls appear with an office number caller ID, a move that not only protects employee privacy but also helps businesses track personal and business calls separately.