The release of many new features for the VirtualPBX Softphone for mobile and desktop include the capability to send SMS text messages and participate in video conferences. Moreover, Android 11 updates and iOS 14 updates give our mobile softphones a number of new actions not found in previous builds.
What you receive as a VirtualPBX customer is an improved user experience that helps make the use of our Business SMS and Video Conferencing features even better. Small adjustments such as how your phone’s contacts are managed can make it easier for your business to function, so we’ll discuss those updates here as they coincide with the development of our own business phone platform.
New VirtualPBX Features
The newest features of the VirtualPBX Phone System are Business SMS and Video Conferencing. We’re thrilled to be promoting them now because our customers have been requesting their addition to employees across our company.
As just a quick recap: If you haven’t done so already, head on over to our Business SMS feature page to see how you can use texting on your VirtualPBX Plan.
This feature allows users to send unlimited texts between coworkers and outbound to customers. For companies that work remotely, it can help employees stay connected in an informal way. Then when marketing campaigns are in full swing, SMS messages can help you highlight new products and seasonal promotions.
Automated capture of inbound texts is also possible through our Zapier Integration, use of our Webhooks feature, and through database services like Airtable. You can read more about the confluence of those features in our blog about building an SMS Airtable template.
Our latest softphone update also includes a number of settings for sending messages to individuals and groups. You can complete one-to-one chats with contacts, and you can easily create groups with as many contacts as you need. A user can create a group and easily manage room settings like its description and topic; members can also be added, removed, and re-sent their invitations.
Additionally, you will want to check out our Video Conferencing feature page to read about how video works in your plan. You can complete 1:1 video chats with colleagues and customers, and video conferences can be created with dozens of participants – mixing both video and audio-only callers.
Attend your weekly meetings on the VirtualPBX Softphone and share your participation in HD video and audio. The interface is as familiar as any web-based video service you have used before. Now all your communications tasks are possible in a single platform.
Android 11 Updates
Android 11 updates include:
- A new picture-in-picture mode where a small window can be pinned to the corner of your phone’s screen
- Updates to the face-down mute function where, when your phone is places face down (and automatically mutes your audio, announcements can still be played
- And a change in default behavior when creating a contact that creates a new Main number instead of a Softphone when you add a user from a call log
The benefits to these three updates have an impact on use of the VirtualPBX Softphone and its new capabilities. Picture-in-picture mode, of course, could be used to allow you to multitask while in a video conference.
Meanwhile, you can rely on alerts still being effective on your phone when you need to mute your device for any reason. Then any time you receive an SMS from a new contact – potentially as part of your new inbound sales campaign – you can easily add that contact to your address book and have their number be displayed as their primary device.
iOS 14 Updates
Additions to iOS 14 also impact use of our softphone. Here’s a notable list of iOS 14 updates:
- Like with Android, a new face-down mute setting can be enabled (in iOS, it’s found in Settings > Preferences > Mute When Face Down)
- The mute notification is also improved to correctly display your audio status if you unmute your phone while in the lock screen
- And a typing indicator is now visible to show when users are actively composing messages in both public and private chat rooms
Both mute functions listed above should help individuals better understand and manage what’s taking place in their conversations. They will have an accurate reading of whether or not they’re muted, and instant access to mute (by simply turning the phone on its face) can make changes in status more streamlined.
Team collaboration should also benefit from improvements to mute handling. In addition, SMS texting will become less of a “black box” by showing what’s happening with other users during a conversation. The pacing of any conversation, and a potential lack of unnecessary interruptions, can be expected by giving users feedback about when messages are being typed.
Mac and Windows Desktop Softphone Updates
While we don’t have any platform (Mac and Windows) updates to report here, this is a great time to point out some new features of the VirtualPBX Desktop Softphone related to its SMS and video functionality.
Softphone Interface Changes
The latest version of the VirtualPBX Desktop Softphone includes several changes to its visual interface that assist with sending SMS messages and starting video calls.
In your contact list – which you can upload from your online dashboard to your softphone – you will see several icons next to a contact when they’re clicked on.
- The phone icon lets you quickly start a call
- The speech bubble icon starts an instant message between desktop softphone, so you can chat with your team
- The smartphone icon lets you start a one-to-one SMS chat with any phone that supports texting
You can also begin voice and video calls from within an existing SMS chat. In the upper-right corner of a chat, click the ellipses icon to see a menu that gives you immediate access to those options.
iOS 14 and Android 11 Updates Improve Daily Workflow
Although we’re not directly involved in Android 11 updates and iOS 14 updates, the VirtualPBX Softphone benefits from their effects, and we’re happy to take full advantage of their capabilities. As a result, your daily workflow can benefit from their additions because they are built into the native functioning of our softphone.
Small improvements in contact creation to large, long-awaited features like picture-in-picture add levels of usability and simplicity to casual and advanced usage of our softphone.
We hope the additions to these platforms make use of daily calls and texts a welcome task at your organization. Visit our VirtualPBX Softphone page to find links to our mobile and desktop softphone hosts so you can upgrade the software on your devices to take advantage of all these new features.