Utilized by millions of gamers around the world, TeamSpeak is a way for small or large groups of people to communicate without interruption. Long ago, when I played World of Warcraft, our guild's TS3 server would have 25 people on it as we worked together in a raid to defeat Illidan Stormrage. It was the perfect way for our guild to communicate during the complicated confrontation and it wouldn't be uncommon for all us to be on the server for hours as we trekked our way through the Black Temple.
While my MMORPG days are long gone, I still hop on TeamSpeak from time to time to catch up with my gaming buddies. After downloading TeamSpeak for iPhone, I logged in to my usual server and tested out the app, which supports multi-server connectivity. Incoming sound quality is comparable to the desktop experience, while my voice sounded crisp and clear to my friends. So far, so good.
It really is surreal to use my phone to connect to a program that I always used a computer for in the past. It's the same euphoria I experience when I play emulators on mobile phones. The TS app is truly mobile, as it can be used over 3G and Wi-Fi.
What's truly impressive is how polished the first version of the app feels. There are options for push-to-talk, voice activation, or continuous voice transmission. You can quickly connect to your favorite server using bookmarks, including support for exotic ports and passwords. The channel list layout is easy to navigate, and it's easy to set your status, mute mic, or mute speakers/headphones. TeamSpeak server administrators can access several commands to keep the peace.
The adjustable settings include the usuals, but we must commend the de-noise, auto gain control, and echo-cancel options. These will ensure you're not exploding your friends' eardrums every time you speak.
The official TS app is only compatible with Teamspeak 3 servers. As for potential problems, there aren't many that I can see, except the $4.99 purchase price. What makes TeamSpeak for Windows, Mac, and Linux so great isn't just the voice quality, solid features, or reliable connectivity: it's the fact that it's free.