April 7

Microsoft Teams Updates: The One’s You Missed

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Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform that unifies chat, voice, video, and file sharing. It is designed to be used by local, remote, and distributed workgroups – anyone in any company, really!  Teams is a robust offering and are benefitting from tons of Microsoft Teams updates and integrations.

While we often cover individual features as they roll out, it can be difficult to stay up to date with everything that's new. To make things easier, Microsoft gathers every new feature that comes out each month. Here's what's new this year.


What are the New Teams Updates?

 

Microsoft Teams Updates – JANUARY 2022

Microsoft regularly rolls out updates and new features to Teams.  January 2022 was no exception, as the communication platform gained new tools for meetings.


1. Custom Background on Web

In January, Microsoft added support for custom backgrounds for web users. Now you get the same background effects in Teams on the web as you do in the desktop app. The background can be blurred or selected from the Microsoft-provided backgrounds, during your video meeting.


2. Mirror my Video

In presenter mode, while the meeting audience sees the text you're presenting correctly, you see it flipped. With this new ‘Mirror my video’, Microsoft Teams update, you no longer must see the text in your video flipped. The update has made it easier for the presenters to read the text written on a physical whiteboard or a paper during virtual presentations. Available in the Government community cloud. 

Click on ‘Mirror my video’ for a demo!  

By providing you with the option to un-mirror, you will be able to see the text correctly. Simply go to your device settings and toggle off mirror my video. 

 

3. Press to Unmute

A new feature for Teams helps ensure that a microphone is muted during an online meeting unless specifically turned on by a participant, to avoid unwanted background noise during a meeting. The app now lets you use CTRL + Space (Windows) or Option + Space (macOS) to unmute your microphone on demand. When you release those keys, the app will automatically mute your microphone again.


4. Music mode for Teams

The latest version of Microsoft Teams has a feature that will be Music to your ears. Level up your music experience in Teams with the high-fidelity music mode. This update provides you with the capability to create a richer sound experience when sharing non-speech content such as music to listeners in a team’s online meeting or call. Available in the Government community cloud. Learn how to experience high-fidelity audio in Teams. 

5. Hardware-Out with AJA and Blackmagic Design Hardware

Production teams can better manage their workflow and use Microsoft Teams as a contributing source for their broadcasts. Teams have partnered with two industry leaders in the video and audio market, AJA and Blackmagic Design so that isolated video streams can be sent out of Teams meetings.

Users with the ability to turn on NDI will be able to push content to attached hardware devices from AJA and Blackmagic Designs. Enabling the active users to push content from Teams via attached SDI or HDMI devices. This capability is enabled within the meeting settings and is available as a public preview.


6. Walkie Talkie app in Teams is available on Zebra Android & all iOS Mobile Devices

With Walkie Talkie on the Teams phone devices, you can use an instant push-to-talk button that allows you to press and hold to speak to colleagues and release the button to listen. Walkie Talkie on Teams phone devices can only be used to communicate with colleagues that are part of the same Teams channel. Add Walkie Talkie to the App Set up Policy assigned to users from the Teams admin center to enable Walkie Talkie on Teams phone devices. 

7. Reflexis Shifts Connector for Teams Available

Microsoft announced the general availability of the Reflexis Shifts connector for Teams. A Zebra-managed solution, this new connector extends the value of Reflexis Workforce Scheduler (RWS) to create a seamless, real-time sync for the viewing of shifts, assigning shifts, managing shift requests, and more, from within Teams on any device. Using the shifts connector, frontline managers will continue to use RWS as their source of record, providing targeted and flexible scheduling management.


8. Teams’ Admin Center - Sensitivity Label Support in Government Clouds

Sensitivity Labels help protect and regulate access to sensitive organizational content created during collaboration which can be extended to MS Teams. 


Microsoft Teams Updates – FEBRUARY 2022

What’s new in Microsoft Teams, February edition. MS Teams introduced enhancements designed to ensure a better user experience. Mentioned below are how you can make your meetings run a little more smoothly and how to make your chats more efficient!


1. Pin or Hide your Video in Teams Meetings

This new feature in MS Teams’ updated version allows users to hide their video on the meeting stage for themselves while others are still able to see it and thus not disrupt the video experience during the call. This reduces distractions during calls while still having your video available for other participants. To pin or hide your video, simply click on the ellipsis (…) in your video feed and select pin for me or hide for me.

2. Updated Companion Mode for iOS Users

For a better hybrid meeting experience, Teams users can join a meeting on both your iOS device and Microsoft Teams Rooms, with a single tap. Audio on your device will automatically be turned off to ensure echo doesn’t happen. Furthermore, the landing experience on the iPhone will be optimized for engagement activities to make it easier to raise a hand, react, chat, see all participants, and access Microsoft Whiteboard. In addition to joining a meeting, it is easier to access meeting and device controls, like the ability to cast a PowerPoint, turn room cameras on or off, and more. Companion mode enables you to share additional content from your phone in a meeting.


3. Support Open-text Question Poll for Teams Meeting

Polls in Teams meetings enables meeting presenters to get real-time feedback and turn attendees into active participant. Here’s an article that briefly explains the poll system.


4. Chat Density

Depending on your monitor size and viewing performance, you might want to change the amount of spacing that appears in chat messages. Teams now let you customize the chat density to suit your needs. The chat density feature lets you customize the number of chat messages you see on the screen. The compact setting lets you minimize the need to scroll up and down by fitting 50% more messages on the screen. Whether you want to optimize to see more text at once or read less text at a more comfortable level, Teams lets you customize chat density to suit your needs.


5. Delay Delivery of Chat Messages

The chat message delay delivery feature, introduced in February’s Microsoft Teams update, helps send messages to your colleagues in different time zones and for minimizing disruptions in their away time. In this feature, you can send a message at a set time, and the message arrives at its destination at the time scheduled by you.


6. New Fluent Emoji-style Coming to Teams Emojis and Reactions

This feature allows the user to be more expressive by choosing an emoji that best fits their current mood or helps make a point in a chat. You can also react to messages with emojis to express love, surprise, and more.


7. Local Time Added to People’s Profile

When using Teams, we might be collaborating with people in different time zones. In February's app update, the local time has been added to people’s profiles, so you can view the exact time someone is working in. This feature in MS Teams helps with scheduling messages, just quickly check your colleague’s time zone, right from their contact card, enabling you to time your messages to get faster responses from the remote participants. 

8. Pin Chat Messages

Teams now let you pin a chat message to drive awareness and provide the chat members with quick access to important content of the meeting. Pinning helps your team stay in sync on what’s relevant promptly. Access pinned chats at the top of your chat list on your phone or iPad, you'll find all your pinned chats from the desktop chat list.


Microsoft Teams Updates – MARCH 2022

Welcome to the March edition of ‘What’s new in Teams?’. In March, Teams announced new, rich feature updates, to make meeting experiences more efficient and engaging for all Teams users. MS Teams has lots of news waiting for you.


1. Automated Webinar Invites

As webinars are set up, invites are sent to attendees to register. Once the attendees register, the webinar invitations will automatically be added to the respective calendars of all participants. 


2. Domain Customization for Webinar Communications

As confirmation emails are sent to keep the attendees informed, once they have registered, the sender’s name and domain email address will include the tenant’s name. This MS Teams feature makes it easy for attendees to recognize who is sending communications for the event.


3. Day view in the calendar on iOS and Android

View all hours of the day beyond scheduled meetings and events, which allow you to see when you’re busy or available throughout the day. 

4. Support of Live Captions and Transcript for Teams 

Teams’ clients can detect what’s said in a meeting and present real-time captions alongside the meeting video and audio. Also, your captions include speaker attribution. Therefore, you’ll see not only what’s being said, but who’s saying it.

5. Auto-Expiration of Meeting Recordings Stored on OneDrive and SharePoint

In this feature, Teams meeting recordings in OneDrive and SharePoint will automatically be deleted by the service based on a default Teams policy setting, unless the meeting organizer extends the expiration.

Meeting organizers will be notified about expired teams meeting recordings and may extend the expiration date in OneDrive/SharePoint.

 

How to check for Microsoft Teams updates?

The Teams desktop client updates itself automatically; therefore, you don’t have to check for updates. If you want to find out how to update microsoft teams, you can check for available updates by following the below steps:


1. Click on the ellipsis at the top of the app interface, besides your profile picture. 

2. In the drop-down menu that opens, click on "Check for Updates"

3. Teams’ desktop client will display a message saying, ‘We will check and install any updates while continuing to work’. This means you can continue to use Teams while the updates are being checked and installed in the background. 

Keeping up with updates and new features in Microsoft Teams is hard. There’s always something new happening (which is a good thing) but it also makes it very difficult for users to keep up with them, which results in missed opportunities to work more efficiently and productively. It’s important that organizations never stop educating and informing users about changes and new features. What was Microsoft Teams yesterday, is not the same as it is tomorrow. If you’re looking for Microsoft Teams consultancy, we’re here to help Book a strategy call with us today to get in touch with one of our finest consultants.

(Last Updated On: April 27, 2022)

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Saba Naseem

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