This May, there will be a number of updates to Microsoft Teams that will make service users’ lives a whole lot easier. From new functionality in chat, SharePoint and EDU, there’s a lot of useful improvements. Let’s have a rundown of what you need to look out for.
Firstly, let's consider the handy new chat functionality. From now, you can send a message directly from the command box in chat - this means you no longer have to leave the page you’re on. It’s easy: just type the @ symbol followed by the person’s name into the command box, and write your message to begin chatting.
You can also send chats from contact cards, which makes it easy to switch from open to private conversations. Just hover over someone’s profile picture to send a chat.
What’s more, you can also dial into or out of a group call. Simply dial their number to add someone external to your organisation into a Teams group call. You can also distribute a dial-in number, so anyone can join.
If your Teams team is going to expire (your web admin should know about this), then you can now directly renew it. You’ll see a notification within 30 days of the expiry date.
To renew, visit settings. You can also do this proactively, though only if you’re an AAD Premium Member.
Find out more HERE.
You may also find useful the new ability to auto-favourite channels. Your team members’ favourites will automatically appear, meaning that they can easily find and access the new channel, and unfavourite it if it isn’t what they’re looking for.
Microsoft planner also integrates better with Teams. Schedule view allows you an overview of upcoming projects or tasks, with the ability to drag and drop. The Charts view lets you stay keep up with the status of your plans.
Finally, the Filter and Group options allow you to group tasks by things like ‘Assigned To’, ‘Progress’ and ‘Labels’.
Improved SharePoint tabs allow you to place important pages as individual tabs in a channel. As a result, you can access and interact with data-driven pages within the context of your work within Teams.
After having published your news articles to SharePoint, you can use SharePoint news connector to generate discussions within a Teams channel. Just click on the “...” button next to the channel, then choose ‘Connectors’ and ‘SharePoint News’.
Updates for admins
To simplify the often complex job of the IT admin, Microsoft have introduced a new Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business Admin Center. This allows for a cohesive experience to manage both Teams and Skype for Business that will include Call Analytics and Call Quality Dashboards. This will allow admins a single location to take care of all aspects of the service, as well as improved functionality, including end-to-end insights and the ability to manage settings on a user level.
New features for iOS and Android Teams apps
Microsoft have also introduced features to benefit mobile devices. Namely, you can now request calls to your phone from the Teams app to join a meeting, and dial in when you don’t have an internet connection. You can also turn a one-to-one call into a group call, and transfer or forward the call.
Elsewhere, teams can now be created from mobile by teachers and students in Teams EDU.
As of May 20, the Windows Phone apps for Teams will be retired and removed from Windows Phone Store. This is down to the fact that, while Microsoft maintains support for Windows 10 Mobile, it isn’t intending to build any new features for it.
Investment will continue in Microsoft Teams for iOS and Android, as well as desktop applications for Windows and Mac. Microsoft now recommends Windows Phone users to access Teams via a web browser.
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