Microsoft Office 365 | February 2018 Updates

Ross MacKenzie
Cobweb Office 365 Updates February 2018

While there are other Microsoft Office 365 updates to report, the majority centre on Teams this month.

Teams Updates

Teams is the Office 365 chat-based workspace, bringing together people, conversations and content, to provide a hub for teamwork, and accessible whether colleagues are working from the same location, are spread nation- or even world-wide, home-working, or on the move.

As announced last year, Microsoft is working towards integrating Skype for Business into Teams, with many features already having moved across and the rest scheduled to do so at some stage during the year.

It’s all about apps

The major Teams update announced concerns the development of a searchable store for apps and a personal apps space

App Store

The store can be searched by app name or category and the personal apps space used for quick access to recently accessed items or apps individually assigned – and these apps can also be a third-party’s (Jira Cloud, for example), as well as other Microsoft tools, such as Planner.

Information from an app can be brought into a conversation – including work items or even tasks belonging to other apps – and Who is a new app, which enables team members to search for other colleagues within a business, searching either by name or topic.

New command box

A new command box has been introduced, enabling search of an app for information. This may include information sources, such as a news item – or perhaps an image stored in Adobe Creative Cloud – and this information can also be integrated into a conversation.

Inserting ‘@’ against the apps list, gives the apps available for command and query, and ‘/’ gives a list of commands available at that time, while Microsoft has undertaken to roll out further command tasks in the coming months.

Updates to iOS and Mac

With a number of capabilities introduced for users on iOS and Mac, we summarize the details of a few below: 

  • Co-authoring (a shared Office codebase for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android) enables users to see which colleagues are collaborating on updating a document (Word, PowerPoint, or Excel), and to see the changes that have been made, regardless of device used.

  • AutoSave for Mac gives Mac users with OneDrive and SharePoint AutoSave for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Changes are automatically stored in the cloud, and ‘version history’ gives ability to view/restore previous versions.

  • Drag and drop for iOS enables iPad and iPhone users to drag and drop content and files from other apps, from OneDrive, and sources including iMessage or SharePoint).

  • OneDrive for iOS gives the iOS 11 Files app native support on OneDrive. This enables file access from a greater number of iOS apps. In addition, OneDrive for iOS incorporates a more detailed list view and preview mode.

  • Outlook for iOS gives an updated search experience, utilizing Microsoft Graph, and resulting in results with greater personalisation.

  • Learning Tools for Mac now include support for the Immersive Reader and Read Aloud tools.

Yammer and Education tools

And to round off this month’s list of updates, we report that the Yammer mobile app has a ‘Post announcements’ capability,  ‘Praise’ option, and offers the ability to use GIFs – while Office 365 Education users are now able to use a built-in Dictation in feature and Learning Tools are being extended to Mac and iPhone.

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