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The Latest Microsoft Teams Features to Try

When the pandemic hit, a few things became instantly clear: our commutes will be almost non-existent; stocking up on toilet paper is a priority; and, of course, we were all going to have to learn to use one or more of the tools for remote meetings. For many of you (as well as KiteTech), that tool was Microsoft Teams.

As the world’s workforce rapidly embraced Teams, Microsoft started investing heavily in bringing improvements and new features to the Teams experience to help its users work smarter and more efficiently. Now that your work depends on Microsoft Teams, it is essential that you stay current with all the new additions to Teams as Microsoft releases them.

Arguably the best resource for staying knowledgeable about the new features in Teams is the “What’s New in Microsoft Teams” monthly newsletter on the Microsoft Teams Blog website. Each month, an article is released in a standard format outlining all the new features and updates from that month and includes detailed descriptions of each change.

Below are some notable improvements made to Microsoft Teams over the past several months.

Dynamic View (May)

This feature makes elements in a meeting move and resize automatically to optimize the viewing experience. For example, when certain participants in the meeting are having a conversation while someone is presenting, their faces may appear larger alongside the content being presented.

Attendance Dashboard (June)

A new tab in meetings that will report all attendees as well as the time they join, the time they leave, and the total time they spent in the meeting.

Spotlighting (June)

When you spotlight a meeting participant, their face shows as the most prominent element of the meeting until they are removed from the spotlight. Now, you can spotlight multiple participants at the same time.

Chat Bubbles (June)

You can now allow meeting chats to show in the form of chat bubbles above the content of the meeting. This allows for quick viewing of chat messages without the need to open the chat pane.

Lock Meeting (July)

Meeting organizers can now lock a meeting in progress, which prevents any further participants from joining the meeting.

Automatic Recording (July)

We have had the ability to record entire meetings and automatically store them in the cloud for quite some time. With this update, we can configure meetings to record, so we don’t need to remember to automatically press the record button at the start of the meeting.

Transfer Calls Between Desktop and Mobile (July)

For those who use Teams on their computers and mobile devices, sometimes the need arises to switch from one to the other. Now, we can transfer calls in progress between a desktop and mobile device without the call disconnecting.

New Presenter Modes (August)

When presenting content in Teams, you can choose different presenter modes that control where the content you present appears and where your video feed is shown. There are now two additional modes to choose from: Reporter Mode and Side-by-Side Mode.

Live Transcription and Captions (August)

This accessibility feature lets you display live captions to your meeting, translating the participant’s spoken word to text displayed at the bottom of the screen. (Learn more about Live Captions and Live Transcription).

Present Directly from PowerPoint (September)

There is now a button conveniently located in the PowerPoint ribbon which allows you to share your presentation directly through Teams.

CarPlay Support for Meetings (September)

If you drive a vehicle that uses Apple CarPlay, you can now join meetings and use some basic controls, similar to how you already use hands-free calling while driving.

The availability of these new features can depend on software updates and configuration policies. If you are interested in any of these features but cannot find them in Teams, ask your IT Provider to help you take advantage of them.

The updates presented above and many more are discussed in detail in the articles below. You can access the Microsoft Teams Blog regularly at the end of each month to make sure that you don’t ever miss a feature! 

If your organization is looking for help with adopting Microsoft Teams or other Microsoft solutions, please reach out and schedule a conversation with our Technical Consulting division. We would love the opportunity to learn more about your organization and help you accomplish your business objectives.

Daniel Gilbert

Daniel Gilbert

Chief Operating Officer

adam atwell

Adam Atwell

Cloud solutions architect

Adam is passionate about consulting with organizations across the country to help them develop and execute a cloud adoption strategy that meets their business needs and future objectives. Adam oversees and manages our company strategy for Microsoft 365 adoption and is responsible for future growth and development inside Microsoft 365 and other cloud technologies.