Microsoft Teams adds new ways to interact with apps in “biggest single release since Teams launched”

Laurent Giret

Microsoft Teams is set to receive a pretty big update today. The company’s team collaboration app for Office 365 customers has been improved with a powerful command box, better integration of Office 365 apps and more. “This marks the biggest single release of new functionality since Teams launched last March,” the Office team announced.

First of all, the new command box, accessible from the top of the app will make it easier to find what you’re looking for, and much more: You can now interact with Office apps right from the command box by typing @ and selecting an app from the list. “You can search for information in an app, such as a news article or an image in Adobe Creative Cloud, and easily insert a specific result into a chat or channel conversation,” the team explained, adding that more features will be added in the future.

For power users, Microsoft has also added slash commands to quickly perform certain tasks like adding a user to a team, calling a coworker and more. You can just type / to see all the commands that are currently available.

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Starting today, you’ll also see that Office apps are now front and center in Microsoft Teams: there is a new Store icon in the left sidebar, where you can search for apps by name, category or integration type. This is a great addition as apps have not been really easy to discover.

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The new Store in Microsoft Teams.

More importantly, you can now include information from any of your apps in conversations. To do that, you’ll just have to click the new “…” button in the compose box, which will surface all of your Office apps. “For example, you can search for a specific task in Trello, a work item in Wrike, or a weather forecast, and include an interactive card with that information into a message,” the Office team explained.

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Last but not least, the new “…” button is the left sidebar lets you access your personal apps space in Microsoft Teams: From there, you can you see recently accessed items such as OneNote notebooks, tasks that have been assigned to you in Microsoft Planner and more.

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All these features will roll out today to the Microsoft Teams web app and the desktop apps for Windows and macOS. This is a pretty great update overall, and we guess the tighter integration of Office apps will be very welcome by Teams users. Make sure to check out the dedicated UserVoice website to help Microsoft prioritize new features.