- Microsoft Teams added a whopping 52 new features in August, including dynamic backgrounds and the ability to join webinars on up to three devices simultaneously.
- Teams Phone now has streamlined call delegation and pre-configured emergency call options, along with UI updates for easier navigation and faster meeting joins.
- Teams also introduced new hardware certifications and made improvements to chat and collaboration, Teams Rooms and Devices, platform access, and monitoring meeting quality in real-time.
Yesterday, Microsoft published a comprehensive list of all the new features that it added to Excel during the month of August 2023. Now, with the month ending soon, the Redmond tech firm has detailed some new capabilities and hardware that it introduced to its Teams software too, similar to the previous month. This time around, the company added a whopping 52 features.
Starting off with enhancements to meetings, Teams users can take advantage of dynamic backgrounds to make their virtual environment feel more immersive. On the other hand, those who attend webinars can now leverage the webinar link to join the event on up to three devices simultaneously.
Teams Phone got some updates during this month as well. For starters, the call delegation process has been made more streamlined for both delegators and their delegates through a refreshed interface. Another nifty feature also sees Teams Phone-certified devices being pre-configured to immediately call dedicated contacts such as emergency services or an IT help desk as soon as they are picked up. Various UI updates have been made to other areas of Teams Phone’s interface too in order to reduce clutter, simplify navigation, and power faster meeting joins.
Notably, the Teams Shared Device license now supports the Teams mobile app for Android for more flexibility. Other minor updates include notifications for protected voicemails and dynamic emergency calling for Teams on web where users can also add their location in case of an adverse event. As always, new hardware has been certified for Teams use too, this month’s additions feature:
- AudioCodes C435HD
- AudioCodes C455HD-DBW
- Yealink BH71 Workstation and headset
- EPOS IMPACT 1060T
- B&O Beocom EX Earbuds
- Algo IP devices now compatible with Teams SIP Gateway
Switching gears to enhancements to chat and collaboration, the hover menu for messages has been tweaked. If you hover over someone’s message, you’ll see a dedicated reply icon. In the same vein, if you hover over one of your own messages, you’ll see an edit icon. Improvements have been made to the compact chat view too, so you now get line breaks and indicators in conversations as well as timestamps in the chat pane on the left. Moreover, Tasks added to Loop will be synced to Microsoft Planner and ToDo.
Next, we have changes that were made to the Teams Rooms and Devices experience. Microsoft’s AI technology in the Front Row view can now segment backgrounds, change the size of the participant, and enable a unified background so that it appears that all participants are in the same room. Other enhancements include support for spatial audio, intelligent camera features to identify different people in a conference room and create individual streams from them in the gallery view, enrollment of face and voice for recognition and labeling during a hybrid conference meeting, the ability to scan a QR code on Teams Panels to reserve a room, and a new configuration for Teams Panels in the Teams Admin Center. Importantly, the following hardware is now certified for Teams Rooms experiences too:
- Cisco Room Kit EQ and Navigator for Teams Rooms on Android
- Lenovo ThinkSmart Core with Lenovo IP Controller Kit for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows
- Jabra Speak2 75 for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows
- AudioCodes RX-PANEL Meeting Room Scheduler
- Logitech Rally Bar Huddle for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android
- Yealink DeskVision A24 for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android
There are a couple of platform improvements in the form of Graph API access to a Teams meeting transcript and the ability to pre-pin meeting apps in the Teams Admin Center. Meanwhile, IT teams with a Teams Premium license can monitor the quality of a meeting in real-time through telemetry, which can be useful in identifying areas for improvement. Speaking of Teams Premium users, admins can configure an option to only show custom backgrounds for the attendees of a meeting. On the other hand, Teams mobile customers can select their spoken language for valid translated captions and leverage new layouts for Channels on Android.
There are tons of other updates in store for frontline workers and education customers too, and you can check out the details about them in dedicated sections here.