A new, yet to be announced Microsoft app for iPhones has been discovered by Twitter user @h0x0d who managed to stumble across an unlinked public webpage listing its basic details and concept. From what was shown, it appears to be a basic chat app that uses people’s email addresses as a contact list as opposed to say, Facebook Messenger which requires a unique account. The app, called Flow, is unlike other chat apps though as it is linked to a users’ Outlook account but while messages can be sent back and forth, any communications sent through Flow would stay within the app and not appear in users’ email inboxes.
Here’s the leaked text:
Use Flow with anyone, it's email: Reach anyone with an email address and all conversations for you and others are also in Outlook. Together, you can use Flow and Outlook interchangeably to participate in the same conversations.
Fast, fluid, natural conversations: No subject lines, salutations, or signatures. Flow is designed for fast, light-weight conversations in real time.
Focus on what's important: Only conversations started in Flow and their replies show up in Flow, not your whole inbox. Focus on your most important person-to-person conversations without the noise.
ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, who first reported on the tweet, likens Flow to the chat app Skype Qik which launched last year and requires the use of mobile numbers which in itself is like other popular messaging apps like Line and WhatsApp. When asked about Flow, Microsoft gave no comment, so right now all we can do is speculate on how this app will be fully used, who it will be marketed towards and which operating systems it will appear on.
As a standalone messaging app, Flow would have an uphill battle due to the number of similar apps on the market that already have a significant user base but if its features were incorporated into Microsoft’s other services, such as Outlook itself, it could potentially have a better chance of gaining traction.
What do you think about Flow? Would it be something you would ever use or are you likely to stick with messaging apps you already own? Let us know in the comments.