Browsing the archives for the iPad tag.

Lync 2013 Hits the App Store – Ideal for Mobile Meetings

Lync Server 2013

The Lync 2013 Client for iOS is now in the App Store. Time to celebrate!

I’ve been using Lync 2010 with our new Lync Server 2013 system for weeks now. It does the job, but I was missing out on several things. Like making calls out. So I eagerly awaited the 2013 upgrade.

Microsoft has not disappointed.

What to Expect: Calling Features, Video, Everything You Like About Lync

Just a few minutes of fiddling with Lync 2013 on my phone has shown it has all the Lync features available:

  • Making/receiving Enterprise Voice calls
  • Video calls
  • Instant Messaging
  • Chat
  • Presence awareness
  • Attend Lync Online Meetings

Everything you’d expect from the Lync 2013 desktop client. The interface is almost identical too – clean and functional.

Simultaneous Ring works perfectly. Video calls are so smooth, they reminded me of the subspace conversations from Star Trek!

Search for “Microsoft Lync 2013 for iPhone” to find it in the App Store.

The iPad version was also released. Between the two, I actually like the iPad client better. Since it has more screen space, the interface makes full use of it.

The screen is split into 2 vertical columns. On the left you have contacts. Touch one and full Lync contact options pop up in the right column. Call, IM, video, email.

Here’s a screenshot of the contact details (on a dummy account we have set up):

Lync 2013 on iPad 2

Access your own info from the Lync icon at top-left. As well as IM, Chats and your phone.

Lync 2013 for Mobile Requirements

  • Your phone/tablet must be on iOS 6, at least.
  • And you have to have CU1 installed on Lync to get the new version to work
  • You will need Mobility Services enabled in Lync Server 2013 to fully use the iPhone client.

Take care of those requirements and you’re set. I’m running Lync 2013 on an iPhone 3GS and an iPad 2, both running iOS 6.1.2. Zero issues.

Lync 2013 has been released for Windows Phone 8 too. But it looks like Android users will have to wait a little longer.

Conferencing: Jason Perlow Calls Lync “Telecommuter’s Dream” (And I Agree!)

The new mobile clients are great for staying in touch. But what I – and Jason Perlow – really appreciate about them is the Conferencing capability.

Jason has discussed Lync’s value on his Tech Broiler blog for ZDNet:
Why I love Lync 2013: A telecommuter’s dream come true – ZDNet

In the piece (which is already making the social media rounds,) Jason praises Lync 2013′s conferencing abilities as invaluable to telecommuters like himself. Great points on how Lync makes communication easy, no matter where you are or what medium you’re using.

We have engineers in the field all day. We use Lync to communicate back and forth, and for conference calls with clients.

As soon as our engineers are back in the office, I’m bugging them about updating to Lync 2013 on their phones.

How will you use Lync 2013 for Mobile? Please share your experiences!

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Using Lync on the iPad: What You Need to Do First

Instant Messaging (IM), lync server 2010, Microsoft Lync, Unified Communications, Voice over IP

Before you can use the Lync 2010 client for the iPad/iPad 2/New iPad, you’ll need to configure Lync Server’s backend to allow it.

Let me back up a second. The other day, I won an iPad 2 from a raffle! OpSource ran the raffle at Cloud Connect 2012. (Great way to start your week, huh?)

After familiarizing myself and loading up a few apps, I grabbed the Lync for iPad client app too. (We’ve visited mobile clients before, in case you missed it.)

Lync for iPad does most everything the Lync 2010 desktop client does. There’s a few limitations – you can’t modify your contacts lists for one. Or view video in online meetings. Or share your desktop. But IM, Presence, Voice? All available.

Okay, so time to try this out.

Dead simple sign-in here. Just enter your Lync login and password, and click Sign In. Lync Server is up & functioning normally. You’ve already pushed out desktop clients…should log in without a hitch, right?

And then my login failed.

(In case you can’t read the error line well, it says, “Can’t connect to the server. It might be unavailable. Also please check your network connection, sign-in address and server addresses.”)

Uh oh. Something’s not working.

Mobile Support Not Ready, Captain! Prepare the CU4 and Mobility Service Update!

As it turns out, the problem isn’t one ‘something.’ It’s two.

There are two prerequisites to using Lync for iPad. Both must be installed on Lync Server before I can connect.

1. Lync Server Cumulative Update 4 (CU4)
2. Lync Mobility Service and Autodiscover Service (properly configured)

Remember back in December, when I discussed CU4? That’s half of the solution for running Lync on iPads (and iPhones, Androids, etc.).

The other half is the Lync Server 2010 Mobility Service and Autodiscover Service. It’s a free add-on which essentially expands your Lync setup to include mobile devices.

Since my CU4 post, the “I’m a UC Blog” has posted a great step-by-step guide to installing the Lync Mobility Service and Autodiscover Service.

The setup process goes like this:

  1. Create internal and external discovery records.
  2. Install Cumulative Update 4 (CU4) if it isn’t already.
  3. Adjust Windows Server 2008 and ASP.NET, if necessary.
  4. Install the Mobility Service components.
  5. Update internal SAN certificate.
  6. Configure Forefront TMG with a new Web Publishing Rule for Lync Mobility.

(They even included Forefront TMG configuration steps!)

Before You IM on iPad, Download CU4 and the Mobility Service Components

If you want to use Lync Server on mobile devices – including the iPad – then you must setup Cumulative Update 4 and the Mobility Service (and Autodiscover Service) first.

I’ve mentioned CU4 already, and last month CU5 was released. You should have both installed. If not, head to my previous posts right now!

For those who just need the download links, here they are:
Lync Server Cumulative Update 4 Downloads – Microsoft Downloads

Lync Server 2010 Mobility Service and Autodiscover Service Components – Microsoft Downloads

Now, time for me to pester the server team about finishing these updates!
When we’re done, I’ll take you on a screenshot tour of Lync for iPad.

Do you have Lync clients running on an iPad? What’s your experience like so far?

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OCS on the iPad? You'd Be Missing Something

Conferencing, Instant Messaging (IM), OCS 2007, OCS 2007 R2, Voice over IP

I'm not a huge Apple fan. But I've played with a couple iPads friends have bought in recent months. I sat down to write today's post and my thoughts trailed toward the iPad.

I thought, “Since OCS' Communicator will run on the iPhone, would it work on the iPad too?”

On the surface there's no reason why not. The iPad is larger. Better screen. It has a microphone and speaker built-in. Just about everything in Communicator DOES work on iPad – IM, VoIP, audio conferencing.

Except for one thing – video conferencing.

Why? The iPad doesn't have a webcam.

With a tablet, you'd expect the ability to do video calls. Sure, you could watch the other person talking to you if THEY had a webcam. But they couldn't see you – not without a webcam plugged in (somehow). Only hear you. And that's at best a clunky solution for an otherwise-slick mobile platform.

Why Consider OCS on the iPad/Tablets?

The iPad has kicked off a big interest in tablet PCs. At least some of the 3 million iPads sold are used by businesses already. (I saw a bunch used as slideshow displays at the Web 2.0 Expo.) With Dell, Samsung and other companies rushing for the tablet market, it's practically a given that tablets will be used as PC replacements in force.

When we get there though, will OCS be viable for communications on them? That's the question.

Conferencing/VoIP on Tablets – A Future Possibility

At this point it's largely a matter of speculation. Even on the current fast-track, companies probably won't embrace tablets for mobile communications soon. (Not while laptops & smartphones do the job.) I'm sure Microsoft will make OCS apps for tablets. But they may not see widespread VoIP or conferencing use, even if tablets go mainstream in business.

At least,until Apple puts a camera in the iPad.

What do you think? Are iPads (or other tablets) slipping into your workplace? Do you think they'd be viable communications devices,for everything from IM to Conferencing?

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    The Lync Insider is a blog about the technology we use to communicate in business today. Here we talk about Microsoft Lync Server 2013, its predecessor Lync Server 2010, Unified Communications, Voice over IP and related technologies like Exchange Server. Written by Chris W., Tech Writer & SEO Engineer for PlanetMagpie IT Consulting.
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