New Microsoft Teams Features: 3rd Anniversary Edition

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New Microsoft Teams Features: 3rd Anniversary Edition

Microsoft Teams turned 3 years old recently! It’s incredible how quickly time went by, as some of us still view this app as the “new kid on the block” (especially now that people are using it more and more as they work from home!)

In honour of its third anniversary, and the fact that many of you are using this application more often, we wanted to highlight some of the new features that have been recently released, or will be released soon.

 

Teams Meetings for Mobile

Although we’re working from our home offices for the most part, Teams is still contributing heavily to it’s mobile app (hey, you never know when you’ll need to hide in the closet from your children or roommates to take a meeting in peace). Here are the updates specifically for mobile:

Great audio quality even under networks with high packet loss

We have a lot of control in life, but having a good connection isn’t one of the things we can always control. That’s why Microsoft Teams have improved their audio quality, regardless of connection “With our new algorithmic improvements in Teams, you now experience greater audio quality even under congested and lossy networks. Through a combination of smart jitter buffer logic, burst loss detection, and triggering of redundant transmissions, we can ensure smooth audio playback, even under high burst loss.”

Many customers have reported that they already notice an improved audio experience, especially given the overloaded networks we are seeing today. These improvements have already rolled out to Teams customers worldwide.

Background Blur for iOS

We all love the background blur on our desktop app, so Microsoft Teams are bringing this feature to iOS devices! This feature will be rolled out in the coming weeks, and will be available for iPads as well as iPhones.

Teams blur ios

Use the Bookings App with Teams to schedule appointments with external participants

We love Teams as a scheduling and meeting tool, but those we need to meet with don’t always have the Teams app. Enter: The Booking App! This is a great application to use in conjunction with your Teams scheduling tool.

bookings app in Teams

 

Some examples of common meetings with external participants are;

  • Candidate Job Interviews
  • Client Check In Meetings
  • Virtual Financial Consultations
  • External Vendor/Partner Meetings
  • And more!

External attendees will receive a customized email invitation including the details of the appointment and a Teams meeting link to join, with the ability to join via their web browser or the Teams mobile app.

The Bookings app in Teams will be available in the coming weeks.

Reduce Background Noise with Noise Suppression

We love the background blur, especially now that we’re all working from new environments. This is great for reducing visual distractions in your background, but what about distracting background noise?

According to Microsoft, “Noise suppression works by analyzing an individual’s audio feed and uses specially trained deep neural networks to filter out noise and retain only the speech signal. While traditional noise suppression algorithms can only address simple stationary noise sources such as fan noise, our AI-based approach learns the difference between speech and noise, and is able to suppress all forms of noise including non-stationary sources that we commonly encounter in our meetings such as typing, eating chips, and road noise, just to name a few.”

Watch how it works in this video:

We hope that no one would be eating crisps during a meeting, but the noise canceling function is so impressive that now you can!

Real-time noise suppression for Teams meetings and calls will be released soon.

Teams Devices

Teams has now partnered with some pretty impressive companies to create devices that are created specifically to optimise the Teams experience.

Here is one of our favorites:

New Teams phones from Poly

The Poly CCX Series, is a new range of native Teams phones that help users to transform the way they communicate. This series offers a range of models to choose from, starting with the CCX400 and up to the CCX600.

poly TEAMS phones

You can personalize yours with a headset that suits your style or use the traditional handset. This is a series we recommend, especially when using Telstra Calling for Office 365. The Poly CCX series is available today.

 

Access Teams Offline

Have you ever been stuck on a plane, or with poor internet connection, and you wanted to access your Teams but were unable to? Microsoft is now improving the offline Teams experience by allowing you to access the application with no or poor internet connection.

In addition to opening the app, you will have the ability to create and read messages, browse previously viewed channels and to view calendar summaries. Pinned chats, pinned channels, and recently visited chats and channels will always be available offline.

That the first phase of this multi-phase rollout is already complete.

 

Increased Team Member Limits

Microsoft will also increased a number of their member limitations. They have increased individual users in a single team from 5,000 to 10,000 users, that’s double the previous limit! This limit will start rolling out to customers next month.

Additionally, group chats will soon be available to up to 250 users. This is ideal if you want to start a shorter-term chat (perhaps around an event or a project with a concrete end date) so you don’t have to start a new Team altogether. This limit will roll out to customers shortly.

 

Raise Your Hand in Teams Meetings

Now that our meetings are likely getting larger, you can now indicate if you’d like to speak without being disruptive by raising your hand. When you raise your hand, everyone in the meeting will see a visual cue on your video feed, as well as the participant list, like so:

 

Multi-Window pop outs for Teams

Although we had mentioned this in a previous Teams update post, we wanted to call attention to it again, as this feature is now available! You can now pop out individual Teams chat conversations into a separate window.

This is especially helpful when you have multiple conversations going at once. Keeping the separate chats open in separate windows will help you remain communicative and streamline that or those specific chats you need to keep open, while not limiting your communication otherwise without losing your place.

 

In Conclusion

These are just some of the new releases we were most excited about, click here to see the full new release announcement.

We’re so excited about the constant new updates Teams rolls out, particularly that they’ve focused on the at-home experience this month. This proves, once again, how in-touch Microsoft is with their user base, and that Teams will only continue to improve! Cheers to many more years with Microsoft Teams.

If you’re looking to implement, or better utilise Microsoft Teams for your business, we’re here to help! For a full calling experience, learn more at Telstra Calling for Office 365. For any other questions, contact us here and our staff would be happy to help.