Remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic is enabling businesses and schools to keep operating. Microsoft Teams is playing a pivotal role for people around the world, and the April 2020 updates have enhanced the solution further, making it even easier to use for beginners. Read on to learn what's new.
Meetings and calls
More simultaneous videos in Teams meetings
Virtual conversations are the new norm, and video helps you feel connected with other participants. In Microsoft Teams, the number of simultaneous videos has increased from 4 to 9, with an adaptive layout to ensure an optimal experience for all participants.
The new 'raise hands' feature in Teams enables meeting participants to notify the group when they wish to speak - perfect for larger meetings.
The meeting participant must be the focus, and the popular background blur feature is being enhanced. Now, backgrounds can be customised to display a preselected image, and the list of available images will continue to expand.
Background blur on iOS
The background blur feature is now available on iPhones and iPads.
Live captions for iOS and Android
Live captions allow participants with different language proficiency levels, who are hard of hearing, or who are connecting from a noisy environment, to easily follow what's being said in the meeting.
Live Event limit increases for Microsoft 365
Default limits for Microsoft 365 live events are temporarily raised until 1/7/2020. In Teams, Yammer and Stream, events will support up to 20,000 attendees, with 50 concurrent events possible and broadcasts lasting up to 16 hours.
End meetings for all participants
Meeting organisers can now end meetings with a single button push in the meeting control bar - ideal for school lessons.
Sharing system audio in Teams live events
You can now share system audio in live events to enable your attendees to hear the content you share on-screen. It works the same as 'share system audio' in Teams meetings and is available for presenters and producers.
1:1 calls in Teams can now be easily recorded, just like in meetings.
New meetings dashboard
The new dashboard for Teams admins can help optimise the experience for users during meetings and calls. Insights from Power BI will enable you to make improvements based on the specific metrics of your organisation.
Enhanced voice quality
Local media optimisation for direct routing enhances voice quality by optimising the capabilities of corporate networks.
Insights into Teams app usage
New analytics and reports mean admins can get greater insight into the way Teams apps are used, facilitating greater risk management and informed decision-making.
Control profile picture settings
Teams web and desktop experiences now enable users to change their profile pictures.
Assign policies to large user groups
Batch policy assignment means admins can streamline the assigning of policies/policy packages to large user groups.
New meeting controls
- Default lobby setting - external users will now wait in a lobby to ensure only the right people have access to the meeting.
- PSTN participants - Meeting options now have a separate setting to control the lobby for Audio Conferencing participants.
Chat and collaboration
Recognise exceptional effort
Many are going above and beyond to help their communities, and new badges are available in Praise to recognise these efforts.
Yammer app now available
The fully interactive Yammer experience is now available in Microsoft Teams, helping users stay up-to-date on everything that's happening across the organisation in a single place.
Channel cross-post editing
Update information posted across multiple channels.
Additional Power Automate triggers in Teams
Routine tasks can now be streamlined in Microsoft Teams with new Power Automate triggers. New actions can be triggered when certain teammates join, such as welcome messages or the sharing of onboarding materials.
Teams for education
Remote learning with Teams meetings
Education users with a Microsoft Office 365 A1 faculty licence can now use Teams live event host capabilities at no extra cost until 1/7/2020.
With schools closed, educators can connect with students in Microsoft Teams meetings within Canvas, Schoology, Blackboard and more.