Known calendaring issues with iOS 8.x and iOS 7.x devices

Applies to: Exchange Online

Summary


Users of iOS 7.1.2, iOS 7.0.4, iOS 8.0.1, 8.0.2 and 8.1 (referenced as 7.x and 8.x respectively in the article) devices may experience issues in which calendar items may be converted to plain text, truncated, and/or generate multiple repair update messages.

These issues have been diagnosed as requiring changes to the iOS implementation of the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol.

Apple has been made aware of this issue and customers who experience any of the symptoms described should contact Apple for help.

Details

Users of iOS 8.x devices may experience any of the following related symptoms:
  1. Meetings sent in Rich Text or HTML format have their message body converted to plain text. This is most noticeable with Lync meetings where the URLs will appear broken.

    This has been addressed in the iOS 8.2 update. For more information, see the following Apple Knowledge Base article:
  2. Message body is truncated to 500 characters long.

    This has been addressed in the iOS 8.2 update. For more information, see the following Apple Knowledge Base article:
  3. Multiple repair update messages indicating the Calendar Repair Assistant (CRA) has updated their meetings.

    This has been addressed in the iOS 8.3 update. For more information, see the following Apple Knowledge Base article:
Symptom 3 applies to iOS 7.x users, but not symptom 1 and symptom 2. Only iOS 8.x devices may experience all three symptoms.

It may be possible to correct the formatting of the meetings by having the Meeting Organizer send an update to the meeting. No changes to the meeting item is required. The new meeting object will overwrite the existing object.

Meeting truncation may be avoided if the attendee accepts the meeting before changing the meeting properties with their iOS 8.x device.

Meetings will be truncated if the attendee changes the meeting properties with their iOS 8.x device before accepting the item. Specifically, one of the following properties:
  1. Changes the Alert value
  2. Changes the Show As status
  3. Marks the appointment as Private
  4. Adds a Comment to Organizer
Meeting repair update messages may appear in the attendee’s Inbox 12-48 hours after the attendee updated the meeting with their iOS 8.x or iOS 7.x device. CRA is attempting to correct a discrepancy introduced by the iOS 8.x devices on the time zone property of the attendee’s copy of the meeting.

Technical Details

Administrators can confirm truncation of the appointment body through a review of the ActiveSync mailbox log. Inside this log will be a Sync request that sends the Body element to Exchange with approximately 500 bytes. Example:
<Commands>
<Change>
<ServerId>1:8</ServerId>
<ApplicationData>
<Body=496 bytes/> <TimeZone xmlns="Calendar:">AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMAAAACAAMAAAAAAAAAxP///w==</TimeZone>
<AllDayEvent xmlns="Calendar:">0</AllDayEvent>
<BusyStatus xmlns="Calendar:">1</BusyStatus>
<DtStamp xmlns="Calendar:">20141029T115225Z</DtStamp>
<EndTime xmlns="Calendar:">20141029T153000Z</EndTime>
<Location xmlns="Calendar:" bytes="4"/>
<Reminder xmlns="Calendar:">15</Reminder>
<Sensitivity xmlns="Calendar:">2</Sensitivity>

Administrators can confirm the client is changing the format of the body, through a Fiddler/Network trace. With the results of the trace, a request will be observed that shows the client sending the body in plain text. Example:
<airsync:Commands>
<airsync:Change>
<airsync:ServerId>1:13</airsync:ServerId>
<airsync:ApplicationData>
<airsyncbase:Body xmlns:airsyncbase="AirSyncBase:"> <airsyncbase:Type>1</airsyncbase:Type>
<airsyncbase:Data>This is the link&lt;https://join.contoso.com/meeting/user2YVC3G3O&gt; for this meeting

More Information


The issues outlined in this article can be prevented by not using iOS 8.x clients to perform calendaring functions through Exchange ActiveSync. This can be done using one of the following methods:
  1. Use the OWA application inside of all iOS 8.x devices rather than Exchange ActiveSync.
  2. Disable synchronization of the user’s calendar to all iOS 8.x devices.
Additional information related to known Exchange ActiveSync issues can be found in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
2563324 Current issues with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and third-party devices