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Microsoft Pulling the Plug on Sway for iOS This Year

Microsoft says it plans to discontinue its Sway application for Apple iOS devices on Dec. 17, 2018, and urges users to switch to using Sway via its Web portal.

According to Microsoft's announcement this week, Sway users can continue to use the Sways they've created, except that they'll only be able to access them from Sway online after the end date for the Sway for iOS app.

Microsoft plans to remove the Sway for iOS app from the Apple App Store on Oct. 9, 2019. Current Sway for iOS app users will get "in-app notifications" from August to December encouraging them to switch to Sway online.

The announcement added an assurance that Sway for Windows 10 isn't going away. It described Sway for Windows 10 as a "web-hosted app." 

Sways are Web-based presentations that scroll horizontally or vertically and get composed using ready-made design elements. Microsoft offers a free consumer version and also bundles Sway in Office 365 subscriptions for organizations. Sways created in an organization subscribing to Office 365 are scoped to internal use, and Sway data get stored in Microsoft Azure datacenters, according to Microsoft's FAQ document description.

The Sway for iOS app is perhaps the latest victim of recent app consolidation efforts by Microsoft. In March, Microsoft indicated it was killing Outlook Web Apps for Android and iOS devices, favoring the use of Microsoft's "native" Outlook apps instead. It also later dropped the OneNote 2016 desktop app in favor of its Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform app version.

In April, Microsoft announced the end of Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business and Yammer apps for Windows Phone devices, although it later extended the lives of the Skype for Business and Teams apps.

Sometimes there are feature differences between Microsoft's native and Web apps, which can affect organizations. These applications fall under Microsoft's Modern Lifecycle support policy. It stipulates that Microsoft will give a "minimum of 12 months' notification prior to ending support if no successor product or service is offered -- excluding free services or preview releases."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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