Online meetings and smart phones – iPhone currently leads the field in the race to compatibility

A couple of week ago we stated that we weren’t all that convinced of the mix of online meetings and smart phones. Our main objection was the small size of the devices’ displays. Nevertheless, we have to keep an open mind and objectively evaluate the current solutions. So we checked out the compatibility of all the web conferencing solutions on our list with iPhone / iPod touch, Blackberry, and Android.

A lot of vendors have already released smart-phone-friendly versions of their software. Astonishingly, the leaders as far as compatibility is concerned are the solutions below the top 5! Among the top 5 only WebEx and RHUB can be used on an iPhone. RHUB as a browser based solution, WebEx with its own app.

The combination of “runs on iPhone and Blackberry” is most common and currently Intercall Unified Meeting, IBM Lotus Live Meeting, Fuze Meeting, PGi Netspoke, and AT&T Connect are able to deliver.

Next to compatibility of online meeting solutions with smart phones we checked the compatibility with Apple’s iPad. Taken together, 30 per cent of our tested solutions offer web conferencing on either smart phone or iPad, which is ok for starters. Developers are working on the issue around the clock and we will keep you updated on the latest news.

We will now take our iPad and scrutinize the performance of single solutions. Oh, and naturally we inserted the info on which tool is compatible with which device into our overall ranking.

Using a smart phone for web conferencing isn’t all that smart

Well, in this case size does matter! We had some fun when testing web conferencing solutions on an iPhone and were impressed by the results – when we could actually see them.

Seriously, the quality of displayed documents and presentations is amazing if you look at a small part of the displayed text. To read the text in a regular view you need more than just standard eyesight. Data is transferred quickly to the phone so that you can follow what is being shown.

But back to the size-issue. Here’s an example of what we were looking at in our tests:

BeamYourScreen on iPhone

BeamYourScreen on an iPhone

Seeing that you do need a fairly large screen, and having tested all the software on regular computers already, we selflessly decided to buy ourselves an iPad to have yet another perspective on online collaboration on the run. We will keep you updated on those tests.

Oh, by the way, some vendors of online meeting tools offer mobile versions not only for iPhone but for Android, BlackBerry, and other smart phones as well.