Microsoft Teams is getting a new meeting and calling experience this month with multi-window capabilities and several new features. According to the official blog post, the updated experience is gradually rolling out to Windows and Mac users over the new couple of days, and with other features such as a large gallery view, and Together mode to follow in the coming weeks. It's already showed up here, so let's take a look.
The updated experience brings the ability to have conversations and calls in separate windows during Teams meeting. Users will be able to pin meeting controls such as mute, video, chat, leave, and others to the top of their screen, and it should ensure that meeting and call controls don't block the underlying content.
However, new functionality is turned off by default, and users need to enable it manually by following these steps:
- Navigate to the avatar at the top right corner of your screen, and click the Settings option.
- From the settings window, check the new calling and meetings experiences option (as shown below).
- Finally, restart the Teams client to use multi-window meetings and calls.
Next up is the large gallery view, which will be available when 10 or more people are sharing their video streams. To see up to 49 attendees at a time, Microsoft Team users will be able to enable the 7x7 view by heading to More options (…) in the meeting controls, and selecting Large gallery.
As for the new together mode feature in Teams, it will be available when 5 or more participants are sharing their video streams, and it will put all meeting participants together in a shared virtual background. The functionality has been designed to reduce meeting fatigue by allowing users to see the body language of other meeting attendees, but all in one view. Microsoft plans to roll out Together mode in August, and it will be available in the same meeting controls menu (shown above), just like the large gallery option.
There is also the ability to take meeting notes directly within the main Microsoft Teams window. The new update will move the meeting notes option in the Meeting notes tab, and users will be able to take notes by selecting More options (…) > Show meeting notes. A side panel will now appear on your screen and clicking the Take notes button should open the Meeting notes tab.
Finally, Microsoft Teams is also getting a new Focus mode that should help users pay attention to content by hiding video feeds on their screens. This feature will be available in the meeting controls menu under More options (…) > Focus mode.
Microsoft plans to turn the new meeting and calling experience on by default in the near future, and once it happens, the setting to turn it on and off will disappear. If you're not seeing the new features today, it shouldn't be long before Microsoft makes them available for all Teams users.