This month Microsoft releases new capabilities for speakers and attendees to be more engaged with audiences, allowing for fewer distractions and more inclusive behaviours. The new release includes changes to video mirroring, the walkie talkie app and a new ‘front row’ layout for video meetings.
Press to Unmute
Stay muted to avoid unwanted background noise during a meeting and rapidly respond when called upon. You can now use a shortcut to unmute by holding down the Ctrl+Space keys (Windows) or Option+Space keys (macOS), then release the keys to go back to muted state again. This feature is on by default. To disable, go to your Teams Settings > Privacy section and uncheck the ‘Keyboard’ shortcut to unmute.
Custom background on web
Custom backgrounds are now available to web users. You can blur your background or select from Microsoft-provided backgrounds during your video meeting or call, making your meetings more personal. Note that blurring or replacing your background may not prevent sensitive information from being visible to other people in the meeting, contact us directly if privacy in video meetings is an issue in your business that you would like to resolve.
Music mode for Teams
High-fidelity music mode enables Microsoft Teams users to experience richer sound when sharing non-speech content such as live music, songs through other applications, or medical signals during a virtual appointment with a physician. High-fidelity music mode enables significantly improved audio quality in Teams calls and meetings. The optimised experience in Teams applies to signals captured by microphones as well as audio played while sharing an application or desktop.
Mirror my video
You no longer have to see the text in your video flipped. If you’re conducting a video meeting with a client using a whiteboard, or you have a virtual background with your logo in it, while the meeting audience sees the text correctly, you see the text flipped, which can be distracting. By providing you with the option to un-mirror, you will be able to see the text correctly. Simply go to your Device Settings and toggle off ‘Mirror my video’.
Isolated audio feed capabilities
Broadcasters now can create a high-quality, clean audio mix with the new isolated audio feed capabilities in Microsoft Teams. If broadcasters use Network Device Interface (NDI) or hardware-out, they will be able to capture the isolated audio feed along with the isolated video feed from any Teams meeting, enabling full control of both the feeds going into their studio. This capability is enabled within the meeting settings and is available as a public preview currently.
Hardware-Out with AJA and Blackmagic Design Hardware
Production teams can better manage their workflow and use Microsoft Teams as a contributing source for their broadcasts. Microsoft has partnered with two industry leaders in the video and audio market, AJA and Blackmagic Design, to provide hardware-out functionality with Microsoft Teams and select hardware devices. When you connect a supported hardware device, Teams will recognise the hardware and enable sending of an individual’s media stream out to the hardware directly as a clean feed. To enable this feature, turn on the ‘Allow Video-Out from Hardware’ meeting policy from the A/V section. Once enabled, simply click the ellipses (…) of the video feed you want to send out, select ‘Send Video to Hardware’, and pick your hardware device. To stop streaming, click the ellipses (…) again and select ‘Stop Sending Video’.
Walkie Talkie app in Teams is available on Zebra Android devices and all iOS mobile devices
There is now general availability of the Walkie Talkie app in Microsoft Teams, with a dedicated push-to-talk button on a wide range of Zebra mobile devices, as well as general availability on any iOS mobile device such as iPhones and iPads. Frontline workers can now access clear, instant, and secure communication at their fingertips and collaborate seamlessly with anyone from anywhere across geographic locations. This is helpful for frontline workers as this new feature will reduce stress, help with training execution and modernise the Frontline worker experience.
Reflexis Shifts connector for Teams available
There is now general availability of the Reflexis Shifts connector for Teams, which integrates with the Reflexis Workforce Scheduler (RWS) to create a seamless, real-time sync for the viewing, assigning, and managing of shift requests. As a leading workforce management solution, RWS provides targeted and flexible scheduling management. Together with Teams, RWS helps drive worker autonomy, delivers optimised scheduling, and gives organisations a new opportunity to provide frontline workers with access to their schedules in a consistent and flexible manner.
Front row (preview) layout for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows
‘Front row’ is a new layout for Teams Rooms, designed to enhance hybrid meetings and provide in-room participants with a greater context of what is happening across various aspects of the meeting. With ‘front row’, remote attendees are seen in the room at eye level and additional meeting experiences including chat, and a rostered view of participants with raised hands, are brought to the front of the room screen. ‘Front row’ (preview) will be available in the layout chooser experience on the Teams Rooms console. It can also be set as the default layout or turned off altogether by device admins. ‘Front row’ is available for all Teams Rooms on Windows, single and dual display modes, and across all display sizes. It’s recommended you use 1080p resolution for an optimal viewing experience. This is an initial public release of ‘front row’ (preview), with enhanced features expected to follow later this year.
Switch between multiple video cameras in Teams Rooms on Windows
During meetings in Teams Rooms with more than one video camera attached in the space, people in the room can switch between cameras—by choosing from the list of available cameras. If the device does not have multiple USB cameras set up with Teams Rooms devices in the conference rooms, there will be no difference in the experience. For Teams Rooms with multiple video cameras attached, admins can also select a default camera from the device settings to be used when starting a Teams meeting or call.
Cortana updates in Teams Rooms on Windows
The mic icon is now replaced with the Cortana avatar to improve usability. You can now see the updated icon in both the out-of-meeting and in-meeting UI. Cortana Voice Activation is also now enabled by default for new device installation — however, you still have the option to disable this feature.
Cortana skills now available in additional languages
You can now use “Hey Cortana” to join meetings or perform other commands if your Teams Rooms are configured to use languages from these regions: Australia, Canada, Great Britain, India, and the US. Learn more about language settings.
Calling app update for Teams Rooms on Windows
Making a call from Teams Rooms is now updated with a new Teams calling app. All peer-to-peer calling and group calling functionality that was previously under the ‘New meeting’ button are now under “Call.” Using the Teams Rooms console, “Call” lets you dial a number using the dial-pad where a calling plan or direct routing is configured for the room account, as well as access a search bar for peer-to-peer Teams calls, and group Teams calls. Enter the Session Initiation Protocol Uniform Resource Identifiers (SIP URI) which is available for modes with Skype for Business. This update is only applicable if the Teams Rooms is running in Microsoft Teams only, or Skype for Business and, Microsoft Teams (default) modes.
Meet now support for Teams Rooms on Windows
A new update to the “New Meeting” control on the Teams Rooms console is “Meet” (Meet now experience in Teams desktop client). With Meet, you can start an ad-hoc meeting with a single tap and invite participants to it. Not that this change is only applicable if the Teams Rooms is running in Microsoft Teams only or Microsoft Teams (default) and Skype for Business modes.
Transcription for 1:1 Calls
Transcription of one-to-one calls on Teams is now available. This can be enabled via the control bar within the Call window.
1:1 VoIP and PSTN Call Recordings and Transcriptions Available in Call History
Call recordings and transcriptions are now available in the call details panels for both VoIP and Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) calls, providing an easier way to reference recording and transcription from previous calls.
Teams Meeting Recordings – Automatic Expiration
To help admins more easily manage storage, Microsoft is introducing a policy that will automatically send newly created Microsoft Teams meeting recordings to the recycle bin after 60 days. Admins can change the default expiration setting in PowerShell. Changing expiration settings only will affect newly created TMRs from that point forward. Additionally, end users have the ability to modify the expiration date on individual files they own. Microsoft plans to roll this policy out in late January. Learn more.
App detail page view enhancements in Teams Admin Center
Microsoft is adding new enhancements to the App detailed page with more descriptive app information, including detailed information on an app and its management options, more descriptive images, videos of the app for Microsoft and third-party apps and comprehensive app permission information. Additionally, there is a more intuitive app card design for all apps.
Scoped Teams Device Administration Role
The scoped Team device administration role enables you to restrict administrative scope by using administrative units in organisations that are made up of independent divisions. For example, this can help organisations with global operations spread out in places such as London, Paris and New York. Each city has its own IT admin managing the Teams devices per location. Learn more.
Manage Surface hub device in Teams Admin Center
The surface hub has been added as a new type of Teams device to be managed in the Teams Admin Center.
Stay Up To Date With Microsoft Teams – Free Download
Microsoft is constantly adding new and updating existing features to Microsoft Teams.
If you’d like your business to benefit from Microsoft Teams and the added system integrations that can save time and money, download our short ‘SuperCharge Microsoft Teams‘ guide here or contact us for a free 15-minute consultation and find out how we can support your business with Microsoft Teams. Call us on 0800 032 8274 or book a discovery call here.
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