Microsoft Teams added video quality improvements and more in May
We’re at the end of May, and Microsoft is sharing some of the improvements it made to Teams during the last month, as it often does. As usual, there is a lot of news, but many of the new features are scattered across different devices or specific types of users.
One of the more notable improvements has to do with video quality, as Teams has added a new lighting correction feature, so if you’re standing in front of a bright background, Teams can ensure you’re still visible during a meeting or video call. Additionally, there’s a new soft blur option to slightly smooth out your video feed creating a sort of bokeh effect.
On the topic of meetings, Microsoft has also added the ability for meeting organizers to force Together Mode for every meeting participant. This view makes it so that people in the meeting show up together in a virtual room, instead of having individual video feeds. Until now, you could only enable it for yourself, but now you can make it so that everyone has a similar view.
Another new feature is the ability to send meeting invites in two languages at once, so if you’re working with people from different countries, you can make it easier for them to respond to the request and join the meeting. Meeting participants can also now choose what status they want to display when they’re in a meeting, such as whether they’re free, busy, or out-of-office. Also, on the topic of languages, Microsoft has enabled suggested replies on mobile in many new languages, including Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Hebrew, and more.
Other updates include new changes to the Approvals app, enabling admins to require comments whenever a request is approved. You can also now export your personal approval data into an Excel file if you want to keep a personal record of that information. There are other new management features, such as the ability to customize the home page in the Teams Admin Center, improvements to the app usage report and activity log, and the ability to see the external app ID in the Manage apps page.
Teams Rooms devices have also received a few upgrades, including a new gallery view that displays meeting participants horizontally when the meeting stage is being used to present or share content. It’s also now possible to use Direct Guest Join for Zoom meetings in Teams Rooms using an Android device, though this feature is only available on the Poly Studio X30 and X50 Teams Rooms devices.
And speaking of devices, there are a few new Teams certified devices this month, including the Logitech Zone True Wireless earbuds, the Huddly L1 camera, Yamaha’s ADECIA Tabletop SOlution, and the Shure Digital Signal Processor. For frontline workers, the Microsoft Teams Walkie-Talkie feature is also now supported on Crosscall devices.
Many of the news announced today are existing features now being enabled for specific users, such VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) environments. Users on VDI for Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365, or VMware can now benefit from multi-window support, and the first two platforms also now support background blur during meetings. VDI for VMware users now also have support for dynamic emergency calling, and VDI for Citrix now supports the ability to give and take control during a presentation, so participants can take control over what the presenter is sharing at that time (with the presenter’s permission).
Meanwhile, government users also have a few new features in tow, including support for Together Mode when using Teams on the web, presenter mode, the ability to unmirror your video feed so you can see yourself properly, and high-fidelity audio mode, also called music mode. Government users can also now anonymously join meetings across different clouds and choose default apps to open files shared in Teams. Finally, government users can also now use live captions in Teams meetings on VDI for Azure Virtual Desktop and Citrix.