In August, we saw updates in Teams that help improve your personal productivity experience, as well as several updates that help Teams of all kinds have effective calls and meetings. Read on for a round-up of exciting features that have launched in Teams over the past month.
What’s New: Chat & Collaboration
Teams helps you stay on track with focus time
“Where focus goes, energy flows” – Wayne Dyer, American author. Busy people can sometimes fill their days with meetings and appointments and forget to schedule time to focus on their work without any outside distractions. MyAnalytics helps you explore your own work patterns and learn ways to work smarter – including AI powered suggestions for setting aside “focus time” on your calendar (i.e. when it notices your week is filling up with meetings). When you schedule “focus time” through MyAnalytics, Teams will automatically help you stay focused by: changing your presence to “focusing” and silencing all notifications during the focus period (based on your priority access settings). Learn more about “focusing” presence here.
What’s New: Calling & Meetings
Participate in whiteboarding from afar with Microsoft Teams Rooms – Content Cameras and Intelligent Capture
Even with amazing technology at our fingertips, the traditional whiteboard still has an important role in many meeting rooms and can serve as a great collaboration tool. And while Teams provides a wonderful meeting experience for those who can’t be in the room– it can still be difficult for those people to see what’s going on and participate in whiteboarding sessions.
The Microsoft Teams Room app has been updated to include a “content camera” feature—this technology will detect the whiteboard in the room, crop and frame it, and share the content with remote participants. And even when a person steps in front of the whiteboard, the viewers will be able to see right through them to what is on the board!
Meetings First brings Microsoft Teams meetings to Skype for Business Server customers
Designed for Skype for Business Server customers who want the innovative meetings experience available today in Teams, Meetings First is a configuration mode that allows organizations to continue to use Skype for Business Server for their chat and enterprise voice needs, but move their meetings workload to the cloud.
Meetings First was designed for organizations who require the enterprise voice workloads of Skype for Business Server but want a superior meetings experience with Microsoft Teams. Any version of Skype for Business Server is supported, though more recent clients will have a better coexistence experience. In addition, organizations need to be licensed for Teams, including Audio Conferencing if PSTN dial-in/dial-out functionality is required.
Houston, we have sound!
You asked and we listened. Now, you can share your audio during a Teams meeting, so all participants, near and far, can hear whatever media you're presenting. So go ahead, add that video to your PowerPoint presentation. Your audience awaits! Learn how to add system audio to your meetings here.
Partner Provided Calling Plans for Japan
SoftBank has released their UniTalk calling plans to Office 365 customers in Japan. The Softbank Calling Plans enables SoftBank to sell and support PSTN calling services specifically for the Japanese market. Find the roadmap item here.
Audio Conferencing via Direct Routing for GCC High and GCC DoD
This feature enables participants to join your organization’s meetings using a standard phone number. Configuring this feature requires your GCC High or GCC DoD organization to use its own numbers for dial-in access and all meeting dial-outs to phones are via Direct Routing. To enable the service, organizations need to set up Direct Routing and configure phone numbers that can be used for dial-in access. Find the roadmap item here, and learn more on direct routing here.
What’s New: Developer
Personal apps in Microsoft Teams on mobile devices (developer preview)
Personal apps are an important part of how you can extend and customize Microsoft Teams for your organization. It provides a capability for people in your organization to use 3rd party apps within Teams. We are pleased to announce that we are bringing personal app support to the Teams app on mobile devices. We have rolled out personal apps in developer preview mode for all developers to view their app experience running inside Teams mobile. We are targeting a broader roll-out of personal apps for end users on mobile devices in last quarter of this calendar year 2019. Learn more here.
What’s New: Teams for Education
Enhanced Assignments tab in Teams for Education
The enhanced Assignments tab now shows a clear view of what’s coming up next. Think of it as a “to do” list. If you’re a teacher, this means work you have left to review or grade. For students, that means approaching due dates.
When creating a class assignment, educators can add resources from your Staff or PLC team. Simply select Add resources on your assignment and choose it from the file picker. You no longer need to move your content between teams.
When scheduling an assignment and setting the due date, you can also specify when you want to close turn-ins, too. No submissions will be allowed after the close date, granting more flexibility on if/when late or revised work will be accepted.
Check out these Assignment updates and many others here!