New AI-Driven Find Tab Helps SharePoint Users Locate Information

The SharePoint mobile app is gaining a "find" tab that will use AI to help users find people, content and more when needed.

SharePoint Update

Artificial intelligence capabilities are coming to Microsoft's SharePoint mobile app that will assist users in finding a wide range of information through a new "find" tab that is being added to the app.

The improvement is aimed at bringing the power of AI to assist SharePoint users as they seek the information they need to do their work, wrote Mark Kashman, senior product manager for SharePoint, in an Aug. 28 post on the Microsoft SharePoint Community Blog.   

"We are excited to release a new design of the SharePoint mobile app—one based on your feedback," wrote Kashman. "The goal is to help you get to the content you care about via the new Find tabwith fewer taps. Plus, this update brings an improved news layout and quick access to recent content." 

The updated SharePoint app with the new AI capability will be rolled out gradually for Android and iOS mobile users over the next few weeks, he wrote. "You may not see this feature yet or it may look different than what is described before rollout is complete by mid-September 2018," he added. 

Enterprise users of on-premises SharePoint deployments will not yet get the benefit of the AI capabilities that are being added to the mobile app, according to Kashman. "When you connect to SharePoint Server on-premises (2013 or higher), the SharePoint mobile app will default to the previous Search tab experience," he wrote. 

The updated SharePoint mobile app is designed to provide users with smoother navigation and cleaner aesthetics, while making it easier to find what users to find documents and content that is buried in the ever-growing quantities of information being created and stored by enterprises. With the help of AI, Microsoft is working to find creative new ways to simplify those processes for users, wrote Kashman. 

To share more details about the SharePoint mobile app update, Microsoft will hold a "SharePoint mobile app—Smart AI design update" webinar on Sept. 5 from noon to 1 p.m. ET where users can share their feedback, which Microsoft will collect for future updates to the app, Kashman wrote. 

"See the new design and built-in AI in action for yourself," he wrote. "We'll review the updated SharePoint mobile app to show you how you can find and discover the content you care about: sites, people, files, news—all with fewer taps and more AI smarts powering the experience." 

Users will be able to watch the webinar live using a public preview of the new Microsoft Teams broadcasting service. Kashman and Nate Clinton, principal program manager at Microsoft, will host the event to share and demonstrate the new features. 

The app is available to users of Microsoft SharePoint Online in Office 365, which allows customers to access content from their corporate intranets on their mobile devices. The SharePoint mobile app for IOS was introduced in June of 2016 while the Android version arrived in 2017.