Microsoft released a slew of updates in April to Teams on the desktop, iOS and Android, and Teams Rooms, including stricter controls for ensuring the uninvited can’t crash a meeting.
First up, there’s a new settings in Teams for dealing with the situation where an invitee has forwarded a meeting link to a colleague who wasn’t originally invited to a meeting by the host. Now, the person with the forwarded meeting link will automatically be directed to wait in the virtual lobby until the host lets them in to the meeting.
This situation is far less of a menace than Zoom-bombing that took off in the early days of the pandemic, but it does offer meeting hosts more granular control over attendance. Microsoft highlighted the control as it detailed all the new new Teams features launched in April.
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Microsoft has also tightened up Teams meetings for people in possession of old join links with scheduling permissions. Now, those links expire when a person’s permissions have been revoked, preventing them from reusing old join links after scheduling permissions were disabled.
Teams on iPhone now allows users to set a custom background image – a feature that has been available for a while on the Teams desktop app. Microsoft announced earlier in April that this feature is now available for iOS devices and is coming to Android devices in a few weeks. Users can spice up a background with a Minecraft image, photos or any image.
There’s a new option for Teams casting from the Android and iOS Teams app. Users can connect to a Teams Room and display content from their phones.
Alongside the new Surface Laptop 4 announced earlier this month, Microsoft also unveiled new headsets, a webcam and a speaker that are certified for Teams.
The Microsoft Modern USB & Wireless headsets are certified for Teams. The wireless headset starts at $100, while the Microsoft Modern Webcam with a 1080p camera costs $70. The Microsoft Modern USB-C speaker and the Surface Headphones 2+ are also certified for Teams and cost $100 and $300, respectively.
Teams also gains Windows 10 native notifications with an integration with Windows 10 action center to give users a single place to review Teams and other notifications. This is available on Windows 10.0.17763.288 or higher. Users can enable native Windows 10 notifications in Teams notifications settings.
Teams on iOS and Android got a visual update with new headers and icons with an option to automatically go to dark theme when a device’s system is set to dark mode.
Microsoft has developed a new user usage report feature that appears designed to avoid a repeat of its Productivity Score workplace surveillance blunder last year. That feature allowed managers to see detailed reports about when individual remote workers were logged in to Microsoft 365 services.
“The Teams user usage report provides you a view into your Teams activities and usage,” Microsoft explains. “You can generate insights and metrics on a per-team and cross-team basis to understand your interaction with peers and across the organization. The reports are generated with privacy in mind.”
Teams admins also have at their disposal anonymous user usage reports.
“As a Teams admin you have the option to anonymize user data, protecting user privacy while viewing, downloading, sharing, and accessing the Teams usage report data. Once enabled, personally identifiable information like username, email addresses, and Active Directory IDs are anonymized,” Microsoft notes.