I recently got my hands on the latest 14.0.3 update for Lync for Mac 2011 which allows certain USB devices to work better with the client. Unfortunately it’s not a free-for-all patch, so you need to contact Microsoft Customer Support Services and requested the hotfix be sent to you. Anyway, let me tell you more about it.
As per the Microsoft KB article, this update introduces the following improvements for Lync for Mac 2011:
- Improvement of audio quality
- Improvement of headset functionality
- Improvement of audio device support
Which audio devices might you ask? These ones:
- Polycom CX300
- Plantronics Calisto 800 and 540 series
- Logitech B530
- Jabra Pro 9450
- Sennheiser DW Office
- Microsoft LifeCam Studio
It’s important to note that only the above devices are tested to work with this update. Let’s look at the improvements to the client and what the user experience looks like.
I plugged a Plantronics P-540M USB desk phone into my MacBook Air to test this out. No longer do you need to close out of Lync, manually select the USB device as your audio output and reopen it. Lync for Mac 2011 automatically detects the device and starts using it. You can also see that my name, the date and time and my presence show up on the phone.
I made a call to our Lync conference number and the audio came out of the phone as you’d expect. The call control buttons also work as well (answer/end call, volume, speaker, redial, mute and the dialpad).
Audio Device Selection
Audio device selection is now present in the client, so it knows about the USB device you’ve just plugged in. You can now select your audio device from Preferences:
Or from the bottom of the Lync window itself:
Audio Device Selection During Call
You can also switch devices mid call, just like in the Windows client:
As you can see, this is a massive improvement over the functionality before. There were lots of complaints from users about this and finally there’s a fix for a limited number of devices. You can check out more info on the patch and request the hotfix yourself here.