It's been no secret that we are working on an installed IBM Sametime application for iOS, just as we have recently shipped one for Android. I had the opportunity earlier this week to spend a full day working from the internal pilot of Sametime on iOS. Short summary -- great app, well-designed.

Image:Sametime on iOS - pilot testing

As you can see in the screen shot, I was only working over 3G, not wifi. The speed and responsiveness was just fine. The battery life was great, too, because the when the app is not active, it backs off to using iOS push notification for new chat messages instead of maintaining a constant, synchronous connection. Also, you might notice that I'm not using the iOS VPN service -- that's because, like with Notes Traveler, I am connected to IBM through the clientless Lotus Mobile Connect VPN, which IBM has internally deployed to use for email and now Sametime.

Functionally, the key capabilities of Sametime are all there. On the iPad, the frame on the left flips between my buddy list and active chats, while the frame on the right is the chat session itself. The chat window will receive semi-rich content, including embedded images/screen captures, but sends straight text and emoticons (the plus sign lets you choose those). I also like how the chat list frame shows you not just who you are chatting with, but the last line of the chat as well. The little person icon in the upper right lets you access the user's business card and photo, same as the hover over action does in the Sametime desktop client. As a bonus, that business card view has a single click action to "add to device contacts". Nice.

We haven't announced a date when the app will be released, but stay tuned. Oh, if you are an IBMer, don't ask, the pilot group is full right now :-)

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