Teams Updates and Announcements

Some users may receive unexpected Test notifications on their mobile devices

Users may receive notifications that state: “FCM Messagess : Test Notifications”. Microsoft is currently analyzing detailed forensics within the Teams mobile notification infrastructure to identify the cause of impact.
This issue may potentially impact any user with Microsoft Teams installed on a mobile device.

Microsoft rolls out new Teams updates for September

This month, the University of Toronto community can expect to see several updates to their Microsoft Teams experience. With these updates come several new and useful features that will enable staff and faculty across the University to make the most of their online meetings.

The most significant of these updates is the introduction of new Teams meeting features. Read this article for a summary of these changes, and how to enable them if you haven’t already. If you haven’t seen these updates yet, don’t panic: it’s a gradual roll-out that will eventually reach all Teams users at the University.

1. Teams meetings now have a capacity of 300 people

Teams has increased the number of people who can join a meeting from 250 to 300 people. You don’t need to do anything to activate this change – the update is automatic.

2. Teams adds additional options to the meeting lobby settings

Until recently, University of Toronto Teams users could not implement lobby settings that would allow them to screen every user before admitting them to a meeting. Teams just rolled out an update to address this issue: meeting organizers can now opt to have everyone – including people within the organization – wait in the lobby.

To add this setting to a planned meeting, simply go to your meeting options. Click on the Who can bypass the lobby? dropdown menu and select Only me. Click Save to update your meeting settings.

3. Teams has started rolling out a new ‘pop-out’ Teams meeting display to all its users

This update is currently available in preview mode before it becomes the default view. To turn the new display on, simply click on your user icon in Teams and go to Settings. Under the General tab you will see a box to Turn on new meeting experience. Click on the box to apply the change. You then need to restart Teams by quitting and relaunching the application.

When you relaunch Teams after changing this setting, your meetings will have a new display. You will notice two major differences:

  1. All your calls and meetings will now launch in a new window. This makes it easier for you to navigate between your active meeting and items in your main Teams window such as your chat, calendar and channels.
  2. Your meeting controls will now be at the top of your call window. They will always be visible this way and will never obstruct content when someone is presenting.

4. Teams now offers a larger, 49 person grid 

In response to user demand, Teams has introduced a new 7×7 grid. This means that your Teams meeting can now display a maximum of 49 people! To access this larger display, follow these steps:

  1. Activate the new pop-out meeting display using the instructions outlined above.
  2. Click on the three-dot More actions menu.
  3. You will see an option called Large gallery. Click on this option to activate the larger gallery size.

Note: You must have at least ten people in your call in order to activate this setting.

5. Introducing ‘together mode’ 

Together mode lets you feel like you’re in the same shared space with everyone in your meeting. To activate together mode, click on the three dot More actions menu in the meeting task bar and then select Together mode. Your video must be on.

A group of people using Together Mode in Microsoft Teams.

Interested in learning more about Teams?

For a list of additional new Teams features and updates, please see this announcement from Microsoft.

Visit EASI’s Connect+Learn page for a list of upcoming Teams training sessions. You can also subscribe to the Connect+Learn newsletter for updates, and view slides and recordings from previous presentations.

Microsoft Teams Update Required

In the second half of July, users who are on old versions of Teams (below version numbers containing 1.2.00.XXXX) will receive in-app notifications advising them to update to the latest version. After 28 days of receiving the first notification, these users will see a redirect page which will inform them that they are using an old version of the Teams desktop client. They must either update their client or use the Teams web version.

To avoid disruption, users should update the to the most recent version. Please note that users need to be signed in for updates to be downloaded.

To keep up to date with the current versions:

  • Users can manually download updates by clicking Check for updates on the Profile drop-down menu on the top right of the app. If an update is available, it will be downloaded and silently installed when the computer is idle.
  • The desktop client updates itself automatically. Teams checks regularly for updates, downloads any available, and then waits for the computer to be idle before silently installing the update.

We strongly advise users to ensure they are on the most up to date version of the desktop client in order to access the latest capabilities, performance enhancements and security features.

Retiring Teams support for devices running on Android 4.4

Microsoft will be retiring the Teams support on Android 4.4. Instead they recommend that users upgrade to newer Android builds.

The exiting Teams build will continue to work on Android 4.4 for the next 2 months but there won’t be any app updates going forward.

Instead of using Android 4.4, we recommend updating the Android OS version to 5 and above.

Microsoft releases new features to improve your Teams video conferencing experience

This May, Microsoft launched several new important features to the University of Toronto’s Teams environment. These updates cover new features such as background effects, downloadable attendance lists and a larger nine-person video grid.

Providing value to both staff and faculty, this array of Microsoft Teams updates will enhance the video conferencing experiences of U of T’s community of Teams users. Please review this article for a summary of five of these important new Teams features (and how to use them).

1. You can now ‘raise your hand’ in Teams meetings 

As of last week, you can now raise your hand in Teams meetings. Raising your hand is a great option for when you want to let others in the meeting know that you want to speak.

To raise your hand, simply click on the hand icon in your meeting taskbar. A notification that your hand is raised will appear on your icon and in the list of meeting attendees. To lower your hand, just click on the hand icon a second time.

Screenshot of the raise your hand icon

2. Teams now offers a nine-person video grid 

During Teams meetings, users are now able to view up to nine video streams at once on a 3×3 grid. Previously users could only view up to four video streams at once. Microsoft is currently working on plans to increase this number to accommodate even more video streams.

Screenshot of participants' cameras when turned on

3. Taking attendance in Teams meetings

Teams has made it easier to track meeting attendance with the release of downloadable attendance lists. This means that Teams meeting organizers can download a spreadsheet at any point during the meeting that lists the meeting participants.

The attendance list can only be downloaded by the meeting organizer while the meeting is in session. To access the list, follow these steps:

1. Click on the people tab in your meeting taskbar to bring up the list of meeting participants.

Screenshot of people tab in Teams

2. At the top of the People list you will see an arrow icon. When you hover over the icon with your mouse you will see the option to Download attendance list.

Screenshot of how to download attendee list

3. Click on the icon. This will initiate a download of the meeting attendance list.

4. Go to the Downloads folder on your computer. You will see an Excel file titled meetingAttendanceList.

Screenshot of Downloads folder with attendance list

5. Double click on the file to open it and view your list of meeting participants. The list will also include the time that each participant joined and left the meeting.

4. Access your meeting options directly from inside your meeting

Microsoft has added a simple shortcut that allows organizers to easily access meeting options when the meeting is already in progress. To access your meeting options during a meeting, just click on the check-mark icon at the top of the People menu.

Screenshot of how to open options during meeting

This will open the meeting options menu in a new browser tab.

Screenshot of meeting options

To learn more about using the meeting options menu, please review these knowledge base articles on meeting roles and lobby settings.

5. End the meeting for all attendees

Sometimes you will want to choose exactly when your meeting will end and ensure that everyone leaves the meeting at the same time. Teams has introduced a new ‘end meeting’ function for exactly this purpose. When the meeting organizer is ready to end the meeting, they can simply click on the three dot taskbar menu and select End meeting. This action will end the meeting for all participants at the same time.

Screenshot of End meeting icon

Interested in learning more about Teams?

For a list of additional new Teams features and updates, please see this announcement from Microsoft.

Visit EASI’s Connect+Learn page for a list of upcoming Teams training sessions. You can also subscribe to the Connect+Learn newsletter for updates, and view slides and recordings from previous presentations.