Microsoft, after launching its 'Send' email app for Android earlier this month, has now introduced a new app called Invite. The app, like Send, has been conceptualised by the Microsoft Garage team, and like Send at launch, is currently limited to iOS users in the US and Canada. The new Invite app is said to make it easier for users to organise meetings on the go.
The company said the new Invite app would soon also be reaching the Android and Windows Phone platforms. Microsoft added the Invite app works best for Office 365 Business and School subscription users. Microsoft however says it works with "any email", including Outlook.com, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail.
The Redmond giant says the app is meant to "overcome the biggest obstacle when scheduling meetings - not being able to see the calendars of attendees outside your organization." Users can invite others to meetings via email, and they will receive an email or an app notification depending on if they have the Invite app installed or not. Users can suggest multiple meeting times slots. The attendees can then choose the time when they are free, either via the app or the browser. The favourable time given by a user would be visible to other attendees as well.
After everyone has responded as to their ideal times, the person requesting the meeting can choose the final date and time, and tap 'Send Calendar Invites' button to place the meeting appointment on the user's and fellow attendees' email calendars.
"With Invite you won't have to worry about whether attendees are inside or outside your organization, what platform they're on, or whether they have less important meetings squatting on valuable calendar space. Say hello to a simple mobile app that lets you find meeting times that work for everyone from anywhere. Invite. Accept. Done," says the company blog post.
Microsoft clarified the feature is different from "Send Availability" feature included in Outlook on iOS and Android. "The "Send Availability" feature in Outlook is great for sharing your calendar availability to organize meetings. Invite, however, provides additional automation to this process. You suggest times that work, attendees choose the times that work for them, and their responses are automatically summarized for you. No need to cross-reference potential meeting times yourself," it said in the blog post.