Today, we are making available an update for the Microsoft Intune Company Portal for iOS. We’re excited to share that in this update we’ve significantly improved the experience for browsing and installing apps on your iOS device.
Types of Apps
Microsoft Intune supports 4 types of apps that can be deployed to iOS devices:
- Internal line-of-business apps (IPA app packages)
- Managed App Store apps (examples: managed Office apps, managed OneDrive app)
- Unmanaged App Store apps (external deep-links to the App Store)
- Web Apps (URL bookmarks that appear on the home screen)
To learn more about these types of apps for iOS and other platforms, please review this technical article on the end user app experience.
We’ve now improved the experience for accessing corporate apps (including line-of-business apps and managed App Store apps) as well as unmanaged App Store apps. In the sections below, we will review the end-user experience for accessing all four types of apps, and we’ll highlight the improvements that we’ve made to the app catalog experience within the Intune Company Portal for iOS.
Users can now easily access corporate apps by tapping on the brand new “Company Apps” tile on the home page of the Intune Company Portal. The “Company Apps” tile will launch the Safari browser and automatically navigate to the Apps browse page of the Company Portal website (portal.manage.microsoft.com). On this page, end-users can view all of the apps available for install on their enrolled iOS device, including line-of-business apps and managed apps from the App Store (such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft OneDrive).
We’ve worked hard to ensure a seamless transition from the Company Portal app to the Company Portal website. This includes passing an authentication token from the app to Safari so that when users tap the “Company Apps” tile, they won’t have to re-authenticate, even if Safari’s cache has been cleared or Private browsing mode is enabled! In speaking with our customers, we know many of you have deployed required Web Clips that link to the web portal for easy access to corporate apps (as described in this blog post). With this update to the Company Portal, that extra step is no longer necessary. Users can rely on the Company Portal to access all the apps they care about.
External Deep-linked Apps
External deep-linked apps can be uploaded as “External Links” by IT administrators using the Software Publisher tool. These are considered “external” and “unmanaged” because they deep-link to apps that reside in the public iOS App Store and are not managed in any way by Microsoft Intune. In this update, we’ve built a fully in-app native experience for browsing and installing these types of apps.
Using the Company Portal, users can view the app details. Then with a single tap users can reveal an App Store “card”, with the option to install the app right from within the Company Portal. No more jumps to the external App Store.
The iOS platform refers to these as “web clips.” These are simply URL bookmarks and they are accessible from the Company Portal app. Installing a web app from the Company Portal will place an icon on the home screen for easy access to that URL. Tapping that icon will launch Safari browser and navigate to the URL defined in the web clip.
With these improvements, users can truly leverage the Intune Company Portal as their central portal on iOS for accessing apps, managing devices, finding IT information, and more.
- Submit product feedback and suggestions to the Intune engineering team
- Find technical resources for Intune in the TechNet library
- Learn more about the Intune end user app experience
- Sign up for a free trial of Microsoft Intune
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– Kieran Gupta, Program Manager, Microsoft Intune Device Experiences Team