Microsoft, the second-largest provider of unified communications as a service (UCaaS), recently released a batch of new features to Microsoft Teams. Such product updates are an essential aspect of UCaaS because they provide the opportunity to introduce new features or fix technical concerns about a product.
5 Exciting New Features of Microsoft Teams
The latest updates focused on improving Microsoft Teams’ core functionalities such as meetings and webinars, chat, and call features. For instance, you can now prevent meeting interruptions through the new “lock” message feature. Messaging also got better with the latest emoji additions. Microsoft Teams added 800+ emojis to their emoji catalog (that’s one for emoji fans 🙂).
Microsoft continues to improve the functionalities of Teams through regular product updates. Read on to know the latest Microsoft Teams updates.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a unified collaborative platform that offers video and audio conferencing, messaging, and seamless file sharing. The chat-based software supports 500+ integration tools—such as Dialpad, Cacoo, and Givitas— that improve internal and external collaboration and project execution. Many organizations use Microsoft Teams because of its Microsoft 365 integration tools and extensive workplace functionalities.
What Are the New Features of Microsoft Teams?
Since its launch in 2017, Microsoft routinely updates its services to improve security and core functionalities. In the recent updates, Microsoft added new features to Teams’ most used feature—meetings. Microsoft also added extra functionalities to Teams Education—Teams’ digital learning center. Get acquainted with the full details of the new updates below.
1. New Meeting and Webinar Options
Meetings and webinars usage on Microsoft Teams have surged since the COVID-19 situation. On April 9, 2020, a report published by Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, showed that Microsoft Teams recorded over 2 billion meeting minutes per day. However, sometimes, meeting distractions can be a bug. In the latest updates, Microsoft introduced the new “lock” meeting option to avoid meeting interruptions. The “lock” feature is available for desktop users only.
Meeting recording search became easier with the improved Microsoft Search. You can now use meeting transcripts to search for meeting recordings. You can find this feature on the search bar, and it's available to all users.
On March 23, 2021, Microsoft Teams rolled out AI-powered live transcription to help users detect and record audio in double-quick time. Now, auto-recording has been added to Microsoft Teams with the new “Record Automatically” feature. The auto-record feature is available to desktop and mobile users except for Microsoft A1 subscribers. Other exciting new features added to Teams meetings and webinars include:
- Slide translate in PowerPoint Live in Teams: It allows users to view PowerPoint slides in personalized languages. Currently, the feature supports 19 languages.
- Hard audio mute includes Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) attendees in meetings: Meeting organizers can extend muting options to PSTN users during a meeting. PSTN is a telecommunication network that allows users to make landline telephone calls.
- Related content for Teams meetings for mobile: Now, you can view essential info about a meeting through your mailbox, SharePoint site, or OneDrive for Business through your mobile device. This option improves meeting preparation.
Before now, although you could start and receive calls from different devices with Microsoft Teams, distance often affected call quality. That problem has now been resolved with the latest call transfer update. It makes call transfer between different devices—like from your desktop to your mobile device— easy.
Like Mac and Windows before, mobile devices now have the Speed dial option. The option gives you one-tap access to your important contacts. Also, you can add or remove speed dial contacts with this feature.
3. Chat Collaboration and More Emojis
Emojis make chatting livelier and bring more fun to conversations. The latest update adds 800+ emojis with a skin tone selector, shortcode picker, and category selector. The shortcode picker makes it easy to add emojis directly to your chat.
Microsoft Teams mobile accessibility received a boost through the latest Channel inline message translation. You can translate Channels posts and replies to your preferred language through the inline message translation. The feature, previously accessible on desktops only, is now available for both Android and iOS users.
4. More Hardware Integration Tools
Hardware tools improve audio and video conferencing quality. For better call quality, Microsoft added extra certified hardware tools compatible with Teams. The latest certified hardware tools include:
- Dell UltraSharp Webcam: It provides picture-perfect video quality irrespective of the lighting conditions.
- Poly EncorePro 515/525 USB headsets: Smart digital headsets that simplify hybrid working.
- Poly Studio P15: A compact video bar with built-in noise cancellation audio. It’s suitable for Microsoft Teams Rooms.
- Yealink MVC640 Intelligent Microsoft Teams Rooms System: An AI-powered video and audio conference meeting solution. It supports wireless sharing, voice recognition, and voice transcription.
- Crestron Flex Microsoft Teams Rooms Advanced Kits: Phones and mini tabletop devices with smart room controls. They’re collaborative devices that combine video conferencing and content sharing.
5. More Learning Options in Teams Education
Microsoft Teams for education is a digital learning hub designed for learning institutions. In the latest batch of features, Microsoft Teams rolled out more learning options for better classroom collaboration. The major additions are:
- Group Assignment Feature: Here, groups of students can create and collaborate on a single assignment. Besides, educators can provide updates through the group assignment option.
- “Return for Edit” Assignment Option: This option simplifies feedback for educators. With this option, students can add new feedback from educators on the same assignment.
- Immersive Reader for Mobile Devices: An immersive reader simplifies reading and comprehension for people, irrespective of their learning abilities. With this tool, you can listen aloud to chat and meeting messages. The learning tool is now available for mobile device users.
Microsoft Teams added more versatility and style to notifications. The additions are:
- Chat Preview Notification Settings: With this option, you can preview and hide a notification on your screen.
- Missed Activity Email: Bid goodbye to missed notifications with the “Missed Activity” option. The option notifies you of any missed notifications, at your preferred frequency, through email.
- Windows 10 Native Notification: Microsoft Teams now support Windows native notification besides the default Teams notification. Windows native notifications help you reduce interruption through Focus Assist. This option is available for Windows desktop users only.
Microsoft Teams is an expansive collaboration hub suitable for businesses of all sizes. Microsoft constantly brings innovative functions to Teams through its regular updates. However, the technical and security aspects of Microsoft Teams are best suited for information technology (IT) experts. And that’s why you need NW Technologies.
At NW Technologies, we have IT experts that'll help you manage your networks and devices. Our experts will help you conduct comprehensive IT management procedures. The IT procedures will ensure you’re compliant with the relevant regulatory bodies, such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and other essential data loss prevention policies. At NW Technologies, your data security is our priority! Reach us now to start your information security journey.