Microsoft working on new native iOS apps for Outlook Web App, Lync

in iPhone edited January 2014
This fall, Microsoft plans to release two new native iOS applications on the App Store featuring the Metro user interface: Outlook Web App for Exchange 2012 users, and an updated mobile version of the Lync communications platform, AppleInsider has learned.

Microsoft is currently planning for both Outlook Web App and the new Lync to debut on the iOS App Store before the end of October, a person familiar with the upcoming software revealed. Both will be native iOS applications that render Web content with the same tiled Metro user interface style that can be found on Windows Phone.

The Outlook Web App, known as "OWA Mobile Client for iOS," will reportedly be compatible with devices running iOS 5 or later. It was said that it will also require an Exchange 2012 mailbox to work, and will offer users offline functionality.

Other mobile versions of the OWA Mobile Client will be available for smartphones with Windows Phone 7.5 or later, or Android 4.0 or later. These applications are expected to launch around the same time.

AppleInsider reached out to Microsoft for a statement, but a spokesperson for the company declined, citing a policy not to publicly comment on rumors or speculation.

Microsoft already offers support for its Outlook Web App on mobile devices through a browser, but additional features and functionality will be available with the launch of the forthcoming native iOS application. Microsoft's own documentation on on the OWA Mobile Client reportedly says that the native iOS application will offer the "best" support to mobile users, while feature availability for Windows Phone 7.5 and Android 4.0 is listed as "to be determined," suggesting that the iOS client is the lead platform.


As for Microsoft's new Lync mobile client, the person familiar with the native iOS application said it will offer improved connectivity to Microsoft's unified communications platform, which is integrated into Microsoft Office. Microsoft Lync includes instant messaging, audio and video chat, and Web conferencing.

When the new Lync for iOS application hits the App Store, it will reportedly support both video and audio conferencing on the platform. Like the OWA Mobile Client, Lync for iOS will render Web content natively with a Metro-style interface, an overhaul from the current Lync 2010 application which is not built in Metro.

This same person who reached out to AppleInsider could not provide comment on a story from earlier Wednesday, which suggested that Microsoft is also working on a version of its Office productivity suite for the iPad. Rumors of a version of Office for iPad have persisted since late last year.

If Microsoft does release a version of Office on the iOS App Store, it will not include dedicated Outlook functionality with the suite, this person said. Microsoft apparently intends to make the OWA Mobile Client, tied to the next version of Exchange Server, its primary option for iOS users, meaning users will not be able to configure non-Exchange IMAP or POP accounts through a rumored version of Office for iPad.


  • Reply 1 of 17
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    This is the saddest Photoshop fail I've seen in a while. 

  • Reply 2 of 17
    patranuspatranus Posts: 366member

    Desperately clinging to the past.  Yawn.

  • Reply 3 of 17
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,746member

    I don't think it's possible to combine more confusing jargon and technology which no one really cares about into one app description.  Just tell people what it does and why they should care, not what it's made out of.

  • Reply 4 of 17
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member

    So the Lync app from MS that is currently in the app store isn't a native app? WTF?

  • Reply 5 of 17
    tylersdadtylersdad Posts: 310member

    This is great news. My company is switching from Lotus Notes/Sametime to Outlook/Lync at the end of the year. Hopefully this means we won't have to use the abysmal Good for Enterprise email client anymore.

  • Reply 6 of 17

    We've been using Lync for a while now.  I have it on my iPad and iPhone and it appears to work fine.  Is this not a valid app in the App Store?


    Maybe I'm not understanding this... Why would they need OWA on a mobile device if they already have an Exchange server?  Can't they just use the mail client on their device and set it up as an Exchange account?

  • Reply 7 of 17


    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

    So the Lync app from MS that is currently in the app store isn't a native app? WTF?

    I was thinking the same thing.  I've been using the Lync application for the past week on both my iPhone and my iPad.

  • Reply 8 of 17
    darryn lowedarryn lowe Posts: 250member

    What is the point of this?


    Mail on the iPhone is brilliant for connecting to Exchange servers. I've not had any issues once the sysadmins liven up OWA.


    To try and force Metro on iOS users is just going to prove that it's a really bad idea to go live with it.


    Give up Microsoft, your reign of terror is over.


    Also Exchange 2012? Seriously, how many sites are using Exchange 2012? NONE of our clients do. This product is going to be useless on inception if it can't access below Exchange 2012.

  • Reply 9 of 17
    Microsoft makes no money from the iPhone's Mail app, outside of a small licensing fee that Apple pays to Microsoft. By offering their own app, they'll make more money, which is why they are going to offer it, same as Office. In a desperate hope for converts to winpho, they've chosen the Metro interface as the basis for how the official ms apps will work. That could be a big fail there. If the interface is too unique, it could be difficult for users to adopt

    Cheers !
  • Reply 10 of 17
    libertyforalllibertyforall Posts: 1,418member

    Just a ploy to keep people tied to the proprietary Exchange and fork over for yet another proprietary server iteration.  :(

  • Reply 11 of 17
    petvaspetvas Posts: 11member

    I don't think that Microsoft would charge for the new mobile app. They don't do it for Lync now.


    Exchange 2012 hasn't been released yet. It is speculated that this will happen in the last quarter of 2012.

  • Reply 12 of 17
    daving313daving313 Posts: 97member
    The native iPhone calendar app needs some serious attention in iOS6 for Exchange integration. No way to see who has accepted, no way to see availability, attachments are not supported, and it an Update is sent you have no idea what changed as it just looks like another email in the mail client. This is one area Windows Phone blows the iPhone away in.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    petvaspetvas Posts: 11member

    Not only that. There are serious issues with accepting and changing recurring meetings on iOS devices. You still cannot copy/paste meetings, and you cannot invite someone to a meeting as an optional attendee.

  • Reply 14 of 17
    s4mb4s4mb4 Posts: 267member

    this app would be important for companies that have an OWA server but do not allow active sync.

    other than that, it is worthless.

  • Reply 15 of 17
    petvaspetvas Posts: 11member

    We will not know till we see it.

  • Reply 16 of 17
    gordygordy Posts: 1,004member

    Exchange 2012?  I guess my company will be ready sometime in 2022.

  • Reply 17 of 17
    knightlieknightlie Posts: 282member
    hyper.gif rolleyes.gif

    My company is trying to implement Lync, last I heard it couldn't handle two people with the same name..... I pretty much lost interest after that.
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