Microsoft Teams gets improved meeting captions and camera content in November
We’re nearing the end of yet another month, and that means it’s time for Microsoft to highlight what’s new in its Teams communication service for the month of November. This month, the biggest improvements have to do with real-time captions in meetings and a new to share content from the camera. As per usual, though, there are a lot of little things to go over.
For real-time captions during meetings, Microsoft is now rolling out the ability for captions to be displayed in the same window as the meeting is on. This way, instead of having to adjust two windows to see the meeting and locations at the same time, it’s much easier to keep with what’s being said while still seeing the people on the meeting.
The “content from camera” feature is far more interesting, though. This allows you to use any camera connected to your PC and select a specific portion of the image to share with others. For example, you can capture a whiteboard or document that’s in the camera’s view. Teams also applies image enhancements to this content so it’s more readable to other participants.
Rounding out the features for meetings, there’s a new word cloud feature for Teams polls. When you ask a question in Teams, you can easily see what the most popular words were in the replies.
Moving on to chat and collaboration features, Microsoft is now rolling out the first examples of Loop components in Teams chats. With Loop (formerly Fluid) components, you can share things like tables, lists, and so on, and everyone in the chat can collaborate on that item in real-time directly within Teams. Loop components will also be available in more places, so you can access and edit this information more easily from anywhere.
Microsoft has also improved the search feature in Teams in November. There’s a new section in the search suggestions dropdown box called “Top Hits”, which surfaces the most relevant results for your search terms – whether that’s people, groups, files, and so on. There’s also an update search results page that offers more context for each result. For example, you can search for “design” and see messages from people or documents including that word.
There are some new features for calling, specifically related to PSTN calls. IT admins can now set custom music to play for PSTN callers that are on hold. It’s also possible for IT admins to set custom rules for call parking, such as how long a call needs to be on hold before ringing again. It’s also now possible to route PSTN calls to unassigned numbers to other users or channels so callers can get some kind of response.
There’s also some news for Teams devices. There’s a new AudioCodes IP phone from AudioCodes featuring a 5-inch touchscreen and HD call quality. Meanwhile, Yealink has launched the UVC86, a 4K dual-eye camera with tracking support for medium and large meeting rooms, and it’s also launched a bundle including this new camera, a mini-PC, a touch panel, and a speakerphone, providing a complete setup for medium-sized meeting rooms.
For education users, Microsoft is making it possible to include content from third-party apps in assignments. There’s also integration with Microsoft Whiteboard so educators can include content from a whiteboard in the description or as reference material in an assignment. Microsoft has a separate blog post detailing new features for Teams education in November, including support for video recordings in assigments.
For frontline workers, tag management settings will be set to “Team owners and members” instead of just “Team owners”, though this can be changed. It’s also now possible to edit published tasks instead of having to recall an entire list of tasks to make edits to it.
On the management side of things, Microsoft has added the Surface Hub as a new type of device that can be managed from the Teams Admin Center, and there are also new filtering options to make it easier for admins to find the devices they want to take action on. Microsoft has also made it possible to remotely sign out of a Teams Android device from the Admin Center, so admins can provision a device and then log out from it more easily. For meetings, it’s now possible to set rules for certain users to be able to join meetings anonymously using a new policy.
There are new features for Power Platform apps and custom development, such as being able to share specific parts of an app to the meeting stage (where the video feeds appear). Microsoft Teams Connect is improving support for apps to be designed for channels shared with other organizations. Finally, tab actions for these apps are moving to a separate menu to help declutter the interface.
Finally, for government organizations, Teams is adding new features including the aforementioned caption improvements and anonymous user join policy for meetings. There are also features that were already available to other users before, including Presenter mode for sharing a presentation alongside your own video feed, a new assignment experience for users in breakout rooms, the ability to download attendance reports, and isolated audio feed capabilities. Additionally, teams of up to 25,000 members are now supported in GCC-High.