Finally got some free time to write up my experience upgrading my Lync 2013 Mobile Client to Skype for Business on my Windows Phone.
On 6th July Microsoft released the Skype for Business Mobile client version 126.96.36.199.0 for Windows Phone only, no news on IoS or Android as of yet im afraid but really good to see to Windows Mobile coming first !
The Lync 2013 Mobile is now officially Skype for Business for Windows 8.1 users and Lync 2013 mobile client is not available in the store. If you search for Lync 2013 you get Skype for Business displayed as top result. For Windows Phone 8 you can use Skype for Business Mobile client but can still use Lync 2013 / Lync 2010 mobile client.
Overall the new client is good and really good to have the Skype for Business Mobile client to match the desktop but its only for Windows Phones currently. I was expecting more from the update to be honest and i did have some minor update issues.
Below are the highlights
- Skype for Business Mobile requires Windows Phone 8.1 if you already have Lync 2013 Mobile you can upgrade through the store.
- If you dont have Lync 2013 Mobile you can download from the store and install
- If you have Windows Phone 8.0 you can only use Lync 2013 or Lync 2010 client.
As i already had the Lync 2013 Mobile client when i went into the Windows Store i didnt initially see an update waiting to be installed. I manually searched for Skype for Business and it showed me i already had this installed which was odd.
I checked the Lync mobile client and it was still Lync.
I decided to close the store app and try again and check for update and now there was an update. I spoke with a few of my colleagues from risual and they found this as well. Anyhow i updated Lync, opened the Skype for Business Mobile client and it automatically closed which was odd. I opened the app again and it was ok. some screenshots below when opening the app.
Look and feel
The look and feel of the app has been updated to Skype with new icons, branding and your picture is a circle with small presence icon.
Overall the Skype for Business has the same layout as Lync 2013 so there’s no extra tabs etc. With the updated look and feel i don’t feel end users would need retraining which is good.
One of the most talked about features when i talk about Skype for Business is the updated Emojis! i think they are great and i use them all the time.
I was disappointed to see that they are not animated like the desktop client 😦 same emojis but no animations. I also found when i sent them they were different sizes which could be when you use text and looked a little different at times which was odd.
The new Skype for Business also installs local encryption of the application but i did notice before i upgraded in the details that At-rest Data Encryption (requires Re-Install) was listed. After upgrading Lync 2013 i checked about and it did say that data was encrypted which i wasnt expecting as i didnt reinstall.
To be safe i uninstalled the application and reinstalled, checked about and it did say encrypted as well so no change is seems. Perhaps on first launch after the upgrade when it automatically closed encryption has something to do with it maybe. Little bit confusing this.
The Skype for Business client has a live tile and also the background can be transparent which is nice.
Skype and Skype for Business apps side by side
You can have both Skype and Skype for Business mobile clients on the same device. If you have both client its fairly easy to which is which so i don’t expect people to get too confused. Also Skype for consumer does look different although a similar name.
Server Side Conversion History
The new application is listed as bringing Server Side Conversation history which i did find worked a little in Lync 2013 Mobile client but you have a Skype for Business back end Servers. Ill give this more of a test now.