The wait is over – Lync for iOS is here. The pleasant surprise is that it didn’t just come out on the US store but also the German Appstore (and I assume others).
Configuration is the same as on Windows Phone or Android – no surprise here. The Interface though looks different and seems to have some more integration with the phone and offer more functionality (or just does it in a different way).
The start screen has the same information as on the other mobile versions:
Under Simultaneously Ring you can set all Forwarding Options the same way as on the desktop client.
During my first 30 minutes of testing I got a lot of “connection error” messages – I am not sure why this happens on iOS – this is something I have not seen on the other mobile platforms:
In the contacts section you see your Lync contact list but you can also switch to your contacts from your iPhone address book – I like this feature. I instantly have all my most important contacts in there and can initiate Lync Calls also to them.
That said this is not SIP calling but after call initiation the Lync Server calls your phone back and will then connect to the dialed number. Still – to have this feature for all my contacts immediately available is nice.
From the Lync contact list it is very simple to initiate an IM conference with everyone in a contact group. I do not see the option to create a conference call and also from the chat window (when having a chat conference) the call option disappears as soon as there is more than two participants. Just like on Windows Phone I am unable to understand how you create a AudioConference.
The Chats Window shows you a list of ongoing chats – from here you can switch between your chats.
Inside a Chat you have different options:
You can delete the conversation, initiate a voice call (only if this is a one-to-one Chat), view the participants list, invite others, send as email or send you location. This last option is a nice touch and enables you quickly to communicate where you are to others.
The Meeting page you can switch on / off in the Options. This gives you a list of your meetings from your Exchange calendar – here you can see which of your meetings are normal meetings and which are online meetings and join directly from here.
Next page is the phone – here you can alternate between the normal keypad for making calls (working as described above) and your voicemails. These play either directly on your device (which is not working for me yet) or again – Lync will call you back on your device and play the message.
All in all it seems the iOS version has more functionality than Windows Phone and Android – but this is just a first impression. Obviously at this point the connection to Exchange is not working yet for me and we will have to figure this out. But it looks good – and besides the same criticism as for Windows Phone and Android (no real SIP Calling, no Video at all) I am pleased with this as a first version and hope for many updates to come.