What’s new in Microsoft Teams for May 2020

Please read the following announcement from Microsoft regarding new Teams features.

What’s New: Meetings & Calling
Increase in the number of simultaneous videos in Teams meetings
Virtual face to face conversations are the new normal for remote working, and now more than ever it’s important to feel connected with those you are meeting. We are increasing the number of participants who can be viewed simultaneously on the Teams meeting stage from 4 to 9. This new experience optimizes for attendees who have enabled video and places the remaining audio-only participants below the meeting stage. To provide a high audio and video quality experience, the layout will adapt, based on the user bandwidth and alter the number of videos shown to provide the best meeting experience. This feature has started to roll out. If you don’t see it yet, please sit tight as it is a staged rollout and can take up to a couple weeks to reach everyone.

Raise Hands
Excuse me! The new “raise hands” feature in Teams allows meeting attendees to identify that they wish to speak, making it easier to actively participate in large meetings. Everyone will see a visual cue on the attendee—as well as in the participant list that prioritizes who raised their hand first—and can give them the room to participate in the conversation at hand. We expect this feature to start rolling out early next week.

Background effects
Keep the focus on you—not what’s behind you! We are building upon the heavily popular video background blur feature in Teams meetings with background effects. This new feature in Teams allows meetings attendees to customize their video background from a list of pre-selected images. This feature is generally available. We will continue to iterate and enhance this new feature to include the ability for users to upload their own custom images in mid-May.

Background Blur for iOS
Keep the focus on you and not what’s behind you on your mobile device! We are excited to bring this frequently utilized feature from the desktop to your iPhones and iPads. Rolling out now.

Live captions in iOS and Android
Whether hard of hearing, have different levels of language proficiency, or are connecting from a loud location, live captions allows meeting participants to follow along and read what is said during Teams meetings. Live captions is now available on iOS and Android mobile devices in English.

End the meeting for all participants
Meeting organizers are now able to end the meeting with a push of a button. Within the meeting control bar, only meeting organizers will see an item that says “end meeting.” All participants exit the meeting when the organizer selects this button. A great example of a relevant scenario is in education: in some situations, class meetings should not continue after class is over without teacher supervision.

1:1 Call Recording
Now you can easily record your 1:1 calls in Teams just as you already can for meetings. Simply select the option to record and call participants will be notified on their screen that a recording has begun!