What’s New in Microsoft Teams | April 2021
Welcome to the April edition of What’s new in Teams – the monthly post where we’re keeping you updated on all the new features and innovation that we have made available in Microsoft Teams.
This month we’re also excited to announce we’ve launched our new Microsoft Teams Instagram account. Go check it out for fun updates and new ways to engage with the product.
Meetings and webinars
Breakout room retention and participant reassignment
Organizers can now reassign participants even when rooms are opened. Previously, you could only reassign when rooms were closed. Breakout room assignments also now persist over multiple sessions. These features are useful for efficiently managing discussions and ensuring the right participants are in each breakout. Learn more
Invite-only meeting options
A new meeting setting is now available in Teams meeting options that automatically sends those who were not originally invited by the organizer to the lobby. For example, if an invitee forwards a meeting invitation to a colleague, when that person tries to join, they’ll be directed to wait in the lobby until the host selects to admit them. This helps prevent those uninvited from joining the meeting. Learn more
Polls in Teams meetings has advanced capabilities for expanded options, intelligent suggestions and analytics
Attendees and guest attendees on mobile devices can now participate in Polls in Teams meetings. Also, discover intelligent poll suggestions to prepare relevant poll questions quickly and analyze responses to take swift action post-meeting. Learn More
Enhanced meeting creation and expiration policies
For added security and compliance, Teams meetings and join links are disabled for users whose scheduling permissions have been revoked. Previously, a user could continue to reuse their old meeting join links after their scheduling capabilities have been disabled. This policy update automatically expires those old meeting links so they can’t be reused.
Improvements to audio permissions settings for attendees
As a meeting presenter and organizer, you can now manage attendee audio permissions with greater flexibility. Attendees no longer need to request to speak for you to allow them to unmute, and you also have the ability to prevent individual attendees from unmuting. Learn more
External presenter support for Live Events
For Live Events created in Teams, you can allow anonymous users who do not have an Microsoft Service Account (MSA) or Azure Active Directory (AAD) identity to be a presenter. This makes it easier for people outside of your organization to deliver presentations for your Live Events. Learn more
Producer Management in Teams Live Events
You can now manage a live event as a Producer in a separate Teams window, so you can simultaneously support the event, while still collaborating with others on Teams.
Custom Backgrounds on iOS for Teams meetings
Custom backgrounds are now available on iOS. Select from Microsoft provided backgrounds or one of your own directly from your iOS mobile device. Now you can make your video meetings more fun and personal while you’re on the go. Learn more
Teams casting from Android and iOS Teams App
For quick ad-hoc meetings that don’t require a formal scheduled meeting, users can leverage Teams casting to wirelessly connect to a Teams Room and display content from their mobile device. Users can broadcast their screen and share content stored locally on their device or accessible via Teams or OneDrive. Learn more
Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows updates
Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows, version 188.8.131.52, is available in the Teams Admin Center. The latest update includes:
- Improved meeting join experience – Customers using Advanced Threat Protection safe link service can now reliably offer external users a seamless meeting join experience. Organizations using a third-party URL rewrite service just need to add teams.microsoft.com domain to their exception list.
Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android updates
- Center of room meeting console support – Meeting participants can now control the center of room touch control console the same way they do on Windows devices, using directional keys to navigate. The touch console includes calendar functionality to view current and upcoming meetings, ability to view participants or add more, and features the most common meeting and calling functionalities. Currently available with Poly TC8 and Yealink CTP18 devices.
Improved display experience in Microsoft Teams Rooms
Get a full view of a conference room’s daily schedule, join a meeting, and interact with common features like calling—right from the easy-to-navigate, front of-room display screen.
Join meetings from the room console in personal mode
Bring more Microsoft Teams Rooms experiences to meetings by signing in with your personal credentials and navigating from the center-of-room touchscreen console. From the console, you can apply background effects, record the meeting, and initiate whiteboarding to share with both in room and remote participants.
Intelligent detection and remediation for Microsoft Teams Rooms
The service in Microsoft Teams Rooms Premium uses Microsoft Defender for Endpoint to provide advanced threat protection capabilities that can detect incidents, vulnerabilities, and missing security KBs. The service will take action based on these detections to apply necessary updates, keeping your rooms secure and ready to go. Learn more
Threat detection and security update management for Microsoft Teams Rooms
The service in Microsoft Teams Rooms Premium uses Microsoft Defender for Endpoint to provide advanced threat protection capabilities that can detect incidents, vulnerabilities, and missing security KBs. The service will take action based on these detections to apply necessary updates, keeping your rooms secure and ready to go.
Microsoft and Surface Accessories Certified for Teams
The first line up of Microsoft and Surface devices certified for Teams include the Microsoft Modern USB & Wireless headsets, providing both a wired and wireless option for headsets that keep Teams call controls at user’s fingertips. Additionally, we have the first Surface audio device certified for Teams. This premium headset has a dedicated Teams button and an advanced microphone system to provide great voice clarity in your meetings.
For users who prefer audio to be amplified by speakerphone, the new Microsoft Modern USB-C Speaker captures and delivers sound such that users are heard clearly in their calls and meetings. A convenient Teams button brings up the interface and a simple USB-C wire keeps users connected all day.
The new Microsoft Modern Webcam lets you be seen clearly in their video calls and meetings and activates Teams features like background blur and replacement. It can be easily attached to a laptop, monitor, or tripod and connected to a PC or docking station via USB cable. 1080p video, 78 degree field of view, and True Look technology makes this device great for personal office use. And when you don’t want to be on video, a privacy shutter slides closed with an LED indicator letting you know when you are and are not seen in meetings.
New web cameras from Poly and Yealink
The Yealink UVC20 is a personal web camera designed for easy plug and play functionality. Connect to a laptop or monitor, a privacy shutter lets you switch off video when you need to and a powerful 5 megapixel camera let’s you be seen even in low or backlit conditions.
The Poly Studio P5 is the first web camera from the brand designed entirely with the personal office in mind. It’s compact form factor, exceptional camera optics, and digital zoom technology work for where users work, allowing you to show up to your video calls and meetings with confidence and clarity.
Lower-cost phones from Audiocodes and Yealink
The Audiocodes C435HD and the Yealink MP52 are two new phones with a lighter weight experience bringing them to a lower price point. Now you can experience the same richness of a Teams call with devices better suited for your budget.
Chat and collaboration
Product feedback tool in Microsoft Teams
We are here to listen for your feedback. Teams automatically reviews the feedback that you submit, and provide help documentation related to the topic, if available. Additionally, once enabled by Teams administrator, you have the option to share your email address when submitting feedback in Teams, to allow for Microsoft to follow-up with you.
Windows 10 native notifications in Teams
You can now choose the style of your notifications: built-in Teams or Windows native notifications. The latter brings a suite of benefits, like respecting focus assist mode which enables you to avoid distracting notifications when you need to focus, and integrating with Windows 10 action center to helps you review your notifications in one place. If you have a Windows build 10.0.17763.288 or higher, you can make this change in Teams notifications settings.
Visual update to Microsoft Teams mobile app on Android and iOS
The Teams mobile app has a new visual look and feel that delivers new headers, icons, and styling along with the ability to automatically switch to dark theme when you set your device to dark.
Organize chats in mobile app
In the Teams mobile app, you are now able to pin chats and filter the Chat list. This is great for when you quickly want to get back into important conversations! Pinned chats are also rolling out on Android shortly.
Emoji library and GIFs in mobile app on Android and iOS
In the Teams mobile app, there is an expanded library of emojis, and the ability to trim GIFs directly in the app.
Preconfigured website tab in Team Templates
As an admin you can now add a URL of their choice to the website tab in a team template. When the end-user creates a team using the pre-built template, it will include the preset website you specified, making it easier to distribute standardized content to the entire organization. End-users can access important web resources, such as company sites, commonly visited pages, online documents, from their team with minimal manual set up.
App customization and branding
With the app customization and branding capability, app developers are able to specify if they want to provide the option for their customers to customize the app. If the developers provide this option, admins are able to customize app properties like app name, descriptions, icons and more to deliver a branded app experience right within Teams.
Teams user usage report in Teams client
The Teams user usage report provides you a view into your Teams activities and usage. You can generate insights and metrics on a per-team and cross-team basis to understand your interaction with peers and across the organization. The reports are generated with privacy in mind, so only you can your own data.
Anonymous user usage reports
As a Teams admin you have the option to anonymize user data, protecting user privacy while viewing, downloading, sharing, and accessing the Teams usage report data. Once enabled, personally identifiable information like username, email addresses, and Active Directory IDs are anonymized.
Custom policy packages
Custom policy packages enable Teams admins to configure their own set of policy packages tailored to users with similar roles in their organization. We have also added the capability to assign policy packages to a group so you can assign multiple policies to a group of users.
Time Clock APIs
New APIs (Application Programming Interface) for Time Clock allows integrations into your organization’s Time & Attendance system. to enable rules for how early or late someone can clock-in/out and new processes like a health screening survey that must be completed before clocking-in for the day. Learn more
Shift Settings & Permissions
With the Teams Shifts Policy, an organization can now allow users who aren’t the owner of a Teams site to be able to edit and manage Shift schedules, approve swaps, and authorize time off requests. This enables you as a managers or supervisor to have schedule ownership without having to be the owners of the entire Teams site, reducing instances of accidentally deleting or modifying the Teams site. Learn more
Enhanced tasks publishing capabilities
We have enhanced task publishing so operations and corporate teams can more clearly manage and plan their task distribution to frontline locations. As a member of a publishing team you can now see separate Drafts, Published, and Unpublished sections to easily see which task lists are at which stage of their lifecycle. We’ve also made it easier to see the impact of publishing tasks at a glance with an updated summary that displays the number of tasks and the number of recipient teams, so you can easily confirm that everything looks right before sending. Learn more
These features currently available to Microsoft’s commercial customers in multi-tenant cloud environments are now rolling out to our customers in US Government Community Cloud (GCC), US Government Community Cloud High (GCC-High), and/or United States Department of Defense (DoD).
Manage meeting options
Organizers are now able to modify the user experience across desktop, mobile, and web by using the new Meeting Options to customize their meeting safety and security settings. Meeting Options can be accessed in the Teams meeting invitation details in Outlook and Teams Calendar. Available in GCC-High.
Invite-only meeting options
A new meeting setting is now available in Teams meeting options that automatically sends those who were not originally invited by the organizer to the lobby. For example, if an invitee forwards a meeting invitation to a colleague, when that person tries to join, they’ll be directed to wait in the lobby until the host selects to admit them. This helps prevent those uninvited from joining the meeting. Available in GCC. Learn more
Enhanced meeting creation and expiration policies
For added security and compliance, Teams meetings and join links are disabled for users whose scheduling permissions have been revoked. Previously, a user could continue to reuse their old meeting join links after their scheduling capabilities have been disabled. This policy update automatically expires those old meeting links so they can’t be reused. Available in GCC.
Improvements to audio permissions settings for attendees
Meeting presenters and organizers can now manage attendee audio permissions with greater flexibility. Attendees no longer must request to speak for the organizer or presenters to allow them to unmute, and presenters and organizers can prevent individual attendees from unmuting instead of all attendees at once. Available in GCC. Learn more
More labels in Planner
Labels are a quick, visual way to categorize similar tasks in Planner and we’ve increased the number of labels to help you get even more organized. You can now add up to 25 labels in all different colors to your tasks in Planner web, mobile, and in Microsoft Teams. Available in GCC, GCC-High and DoD. Available for GCC, GCC-High and DoD. Learn more
New way to update the Teams Rooms app
You can now use Teams meetings and calling functionality in your Teams Rooms on Windows. IT Admins can easily perform a manual update. Simply download and run an offline app update PowerShell script to your Teams Rooms devices. Follow the steps in this article to get started. Available in GCC-High.
Out of Office Setting
Let others know that you are not available by scheduling your Out of Office in Teams. During this time, your presence status changes to “Out of Office” and your status message is displayed when someone reaches out to you via chat. Additionally, your Outlook calendar and automatic replies are updated accordingly. Available for GCC.