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Microsoft Teams gets more personal with new preview features on desktop, web

New personal themed features are now available for preview in both the Microsoft Teams desktop and web apps, and even on the mobile apps, too. The list of features includes the ability to chat with friends or family who do not have Teams, location alerts for letting you know when someone in your family leaves or arrives at designated locations, and more.

As previously rumored, the new features on desktop and web are all coming thanks to the ability to add a personal account to Teams. This not only allows Teams users to call or chat with friends and family, but it also pairs up with some new functions in the Teams mobile apps.

Microsoft says the Teams mobile apps on iOS and Android are being updated in preview to allow users to chat with friends or family who do not have Teams on their phones. In such cases, the messages sent in Teams will be delivered to a phone via standard SMS messaging, Teams users will just need to type a contact’s name or phone number to add them to a group chat. This should allow Teams users to sync all their personal chats to their computer so they can carry on their conversations no matter where they are.

“Today, we are excited to announce the preview of more new personal features in Teams that will make it even easier to manage and plan your days. With group chat and video calling now available on both desktop and mobile, connecting and organizing with loved ones will be easier than ever before, especially with holidays around the corner,” said Arjun Tomar, product marketing manager for Microsoft 365.

Microsoft

Some additional features are now in preview in the Teams desktop and web apps, too. You can now start a personal chat or create a personal group chat with up to 250 people. You also can talk for free with friends and family via video or audio calls or share video meeting invites with anyone, even if they don’t have Teams. Finally, you can see up to 49 of your friends and loved ones in one frame in Gallery view or upload and share photos and videos from your computer in any personal or group chat.

As for mobile, new features now rolling out in preview on Teams on iOS and Android include the ability to add group events for your chats to your device’s calendar, get task and location updates in your activity feed, and add a photo to your personal in-app Safe.

To enjoy these new features today, you need to download the Teams desktop app and sign in with a personal Microsoft account. If you already use Teams for work, you can click on your profile and select Add personal account. Teams will then launch a new window with your personal chats and groups. The new option is slowly rolling out, so if you don’t see it, you’ll need to wait a bit.

Microsoft also says it is working to bring all the other personal features available in the Teams mobile app to desktop and web soon, including location tracking.

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Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
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