Microsoft today updated its Lync app for Android with support for tablets, as well as new features around ongoing calls and group chats. You can download the new version now directly from Google Play.

The biggest addition is undoubtedly the fact Lync for Android now supports both phones and tablets. Microsoft promised the feature was coming during its Lync Conference 2014 three months ago, and now it has delivered.

LyncAndroidUpdateMay14 01 Lync for Android updated with tablet support, ability to add users to ongoing calls and start group chats

The new Lync for Android app includes the same features as its predecessor, the phone-specific Android app. Microsoft has made adjustments to take advantage of larger tablet screens, including icon size, as well as image and video tweaks.

The new version is supported on all Android devices that meet the following minimum requirements:

  • The device must be running Android 4.0 or later, except those with the Tegra2 chip.
  • The device must have a 1.2 GHz dual core or higher CPU.
  • The device camera (front/rear) resolution should be VGA or higher.
  • Other hardware requirements should be aligned with Android 4.0 Compatibility Definition Document.

Next up, you can now add participants to an ongoing instant messaging conversation or Lync Meeting. This means it’s no longer necessary to stop the current call and start a new one just to loop in another person.

LyncAndroidUpdateMay14 04 Lync for Android updated with tablet support, ability to add users to ongoing calls and start group chats

Lastly, you no longer have to schedule a Lync Meeting and send an invitation to all the participants in advance. It’s now possible to simply start a conversation with a group of people whenever you like: just go to your contact list and invite an entire group of contacts to an IM, call, video, or email conversation. If someone isn’t able to join the conversation, you’ll get a notification saying they’re not available.

Here’s the full Lync 5.4 for Android changelog:

  • Tablet support (excludes Tegra2 based devices).
  • Add participants into an ongoing conversation (IM or Lync Meeting).
  • Start an ad-hoc group conversation.
  • Bug fixes.

This is one of the biggest updates to Lync for Android in quite some time. It’s unfortunate it took Microsoft this long to get these features out, but better late than never.

See also – Microsoft completes Lync integration into Skype, offers one unified communications platform for Windows and Mac and Microsoft brings Remote PowerShell to Lync Online for commercial Office 365 customers

Top Image Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images