Cisco Spark Micro Review

So I'm trying Spark. Here's how it goes. I plan to test it between two separate accounts.

Went to the website and downloaded it for my Windows based laptop
Entered work email - was sent two identical set up emails.
Clicked the email and entered password. Waiting for another email to confirm.
Back to the Spark program and entered password
Asked to enter name and we're in.

I was met with quite a plain interface.

Next up was installing it on my iPhone under a different account. Install went much better as it's apparent the team spent more time on the iOS side of things. I created a team, added my previous account as a member, created a "room" and uploaded a picture. All easily done.

I was met with the above UI upon starting Spark. I was added to a team, saw the room my other account created and the picture automatically. I didn't have to "sync" or any other such crap. The MAIN thing I hate about Microsoft's OneNote is all the manual syncing that I have to do between iPhone, Mac and PC.

So I see a button with a green video camera on it. What happens when I click it? From my PC, it called my iPhone (it said my room called "kitchen" is calling). I answered the call and clicked the Spark button that put itself in my iPhone's UI which is great. 

The video from my iPhone as displayed on my PC was blocky and pixellated during motion. When not in motion, the image quality was quite good. The image from my laptop's integrated camera looked great when not in motion on my iPhone's display. Motion caused it to freeze for a second at a time. Note that both devices are on the same network and on WiFi. I obviously couldn't test audio by myself so that will have to wait. Initiating and receiving calls from either device was easy.

I clicked the PHONE icon on the left which brought me to a phone dialing interface. I tried to call myself but it failed giving me a message that phone calling isn't allowed with the phrase "Paid Feature" at the top. 

In an attempt to install it on my MacBook Air, I get a notification:
"Cisco Spark" can't be opened because the identity of the developer cannot be confirmed. I try it a second time and it worked.

Well, that's about it at least as far as I can tell. Is it right for you and your team? Maybe. The free version is worth a try but understand that any time you change a method of communication there's going to be a learning curve. The good news is that Spark is quite easy to use and messages travel back and forth very fast and without issue. The big problem is the video chat which isn't nearly as good as many other competing products.

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