In 2009, CNN reported “smartphone craze” as one of its top 10 tech trends of the year—noting the growing use of mobile phones as computers. At the time, people were just starting to use these small devices to send emails and SMS messages, anywhere and anytime. Fast forward to 2019, mobile technology and apps are ubiquitous across virtually every industry. Film crews are using smartphones as live camera monitors, and health and wellness apps are encouraging individuals to keep a balanced lifestyle. So, it’s no surprise that today’s mobile-everything culture demands an exceptional meeting experience.
Over the last decade, Cisco has been actively building and developing Webex apps to ensure we bring the best meetings experience to every device. This year, we’re celebrating the tenth anniversary of Cisco Webex Meetings for mobile. As the market leader in video meetings – with more than 38 million downloads and 48% YOY growth – we’ve come a long way since 2009 when we brought the industry’s first ever two-way video meeting experience to mobile devices. Since then, we’ve learned a lot about how to keep people productive with an increasingly fast-paced, on-the-go work/life. As I reflect back on how we’ve positively impacted the mobile experience for Webex users, a number of great innovations come to mind:
If you can’t actually be physically there, collaborating over video is the next best thing. We were the first meeting service to support high-definition video on mobile with a full carousel of video thumbnails of video participants, so you can see everyone who joined. Recently, we’ve added our mobile version of grid view, so you can simultaneously see up to nine participants on iPad Pro, and four participants on iPhone. And for an even easier hands-free experience, set up “Automatic Connection” and your audio is automatically connected once you join the meeting, without having to dial in or dial out.
Hands-free capabilities are so important for a mobile solution. So, we’ve enabled voice recognition to let technologies like Siri (including Siri support for Siri shortcuts) or Google Assistant start and run your meetings. You can also take your Webex Meetings in the car with Ford SYNC3 Applink and, for iOS, we are now supporting CarPlay.
Besides all the work we’ve done on our software applications, our team has developed the most sophisticated video conferencing equipment on the market. Together, we’re working to create seamless journeys so you can join and transition your meetings from any device. Now, via Cisco Proximity, you can easily find your meeting from the Webex Meetings mobile app and with a single click, join the meeting directly on a video device – like the Webex DX80 or Room Kit – without having to figure out the URI or the number.
It’s easier than ever to share content into a Webex meeting from a mobile device. We have streamlined the file sharing mechanisms so you can share files directly from Box, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, IBM Connections Cloud and others. You can launch and annotate on a whiteboard session or any shared content.
We’ve developed alongside the leaders in mobile. For iOS devices, we’ve simplified meetings even further by integrating a “Webex Meet” icon on the native calendar invite, so you can join your Webex meeting with one click. We’ve also leveraged the iOS AR Kit to allow users to share 3D models virtually into their meetings, bringing a whole new level of collaboration. And, recently, we introduced background blur on the iPhone XS and XR, so you can eliminate any distractions behind you during your meeting.
We’ve also brought new innovations for Android devices. Using the Google AI library, Android phones that support scanning will be able recognize handwritten or text Webex Meetings link, video address, and personal room information, and connect to the meeting without having to actually dial in. In addition, Webex Meetings will also support Google home devices. Once connected to your mobile phone, you can ask Google Assistant to tell you about your meeting schedule for the day or even read the agenda notes to you.
We will be adding additional commands in the near future.
And finally, you’ve probably also heard a lot about our latest cognitive collaboration innovation, People Insights for Cisco Webex, which uses artificial intelligence to gather publicly available information about the people you’re meeting with – to help you better connect and find common ground. Introduced first on the Webex Meetings desktop app earlier this year, we are now extending People Insights to the mobile app and web page, so you can learn more about your meeting participants no matter how you join Webex Meetings.
We’re only becoming an ever more mobile society, so Cisco will not be letting up in advancing Webex capabilities that empower people to work where they are on their device of choice. There’s much more, but let’s take today to celebrate the successes of the past 10 years of Webex Meetings for Mobile.
Get the Cisco Webex today.
Download Cisco Webex Meetings on the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cisco-webex-meetings/id298844386
Download Cisco Webex Meetings on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cisco.webex.meetings
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