Lync Mobile for Windows Phone - Review

I have been playing with Lync Mobile for Windows Phone now for some time and would like to share my experience. The installation was straight forward after I figured out, that for now it only works with an American Live Account – if your phone is bound to the German Marketplace you’ll have to wait.

The configuration was easy enough – our auto discover does not work yet therefore I had to figure out the rather cryptic Server address but besides that no issues during configuration.

The first login took a couple of seconds – and voila:

I like the interface – it is very clean and simple. Just three panes:

- my Info (shown above)

- contacts (your contact list)

- conversations (recent conversations)

Navigating is simple and very fluid – the Metro interface at its best.

The settings are also fairly simple: Your Mobile Phone Number (this is the number shown to other users when you call them), Show Photos (On/Off) and Diagnostic Logging (Off by Default) – that is all.

So what can it do? Well, here is where the limitations begin. First calling someone from my contact list is not a SIP call, not using my data plan or Wifi but placing a call from the Lync Infrastructure to the number called and a call back to my number set under simultaneously ringing (see screenshot above) – therefore Lync basically connects between two Voice Calls. It works fine, but is not necessarily what I had hoped for (why not a direct call? Xync can do it why not Lync Mobile?).

Next thing: IM. Works just fine. The Conversation View is very pretty and exactly as you would expect a conversation flow. From within the conversation I can decide to call (call as described above), invite more people to the conversation, send the content as an email or delete the conversation.

As soon as I invite someone to the conversation the options change and I am not able anymore to switch to a voice call – so no multi party Audio Conferencing at this point.

Next up Video: No Video. that was easy.

In summary the interface is sleek, all functionality inside the app right now works fine. Some quirks here and there (why do I not see the picture of everyone? Like myself?).

But – this is not the App I had hoped for! No Video, seriously? Cumbersome Call back and connect – why? Give my Xync with the Lync Mobile Interface and I would be happy – unfortunately for now this is what we get, I assume they will improve it over time.

So, next up the iPhone release. For now I guess it’ll look exactly the same and has the same functionality – should be coming this week.

(and really Microsoft – no screenshot capability in Mango?)