It looks like the Windows 8 “Modern / Metro” style Lync app was just updated today. The official change log looks like it brings some some pretty major additions:
- Install the new app on Windows 8.1 to take advantage of new Windows features.
- Take control of shared screens, apps, or PowerPoint decks uploaded in Lync Meetings.
- Run Lync side-by-side with another app at any window size, when you need to work with another app at the same time.
- Answer audio and video calls quickly when your device is locked, without having to unlock it.
- Find your contacts faster, with a simple, in-app contact search.
- Enjoy the performance improvements of all the features.
Lets have a little look at the app and see what’s what:
Sign-in / interface
Sign in changes: the client now prompts for “unknown/untrusted” servers. Great if like me you are on your internal LAN with a standard edition server on a domain with a private FQDN
Not sure if it’s new but Lync now seems to have a customer experience improvement program (but I think that might have been in from the last update too?)
The main interface looks much the same but there are some subtle improvments – things like Search.
The Search box no-longer opens the “Search Charm” but instead performs an “in-app” lookup. Much neater and more seamless from the user point of view.
When in a call the app also now supports the Windows 8.1 multiple levels of snapping so you can customise how much of the screen is used by Lync (from full screen to minimal snap)
Lock screen answer
The app now (like Win8 Skype) supports incoming calls at the lock screen. When the machine is locked Lync shows a notification over the top with the option to accept or decline the call
Answering the call then takes you into a sandboxed app where you can see who’s in the call & hang it up. Any other options require you to unlock the PC
Here is a Vine of an incoming call answer (hopefully!)
Remote desktop / PowerPoint control
Once in a call the remote desktop/ PowerPoint sharing has been improved. You can modify the viewing options and toggle between full screen or “windowed” but you can also now request control or respond to someone passing you control in a meeting.
One thing I found slightly challenging is when the desktop was “full screen” it was hard to click the three “…” dots in the corner as it kept toggling the start button on screen.
I think that’s everything but it’s very good to see such a rate of change for the native Windows 8 app
Thanks as always to Nat for helping make some screenshots!