Microsoft Teams Phones

New features on Microsoft Teams phones | September 2020


Teams phones have some great new features in the latest release, which you can read about in this update! Microsoft is working to make it easier and more intuitive than ever to stay connected to the Teams Phone application. The latest features provide a newly designed home screen experience tailored to the user’s schedule, an automatic meeting acceptance feature that streamlines participation, and user experience customizations, depending on user preferences.

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1. Start screen with meeting reminders

Microsoft knows that there are a large number of notifications, alerts, and updates every day – Microsoft wanted to make this as simple and user-friendly as possible by redesigning the Start screen interface. Users can now see reminders of your current and upcoming meetings, take quick actions, such as joining a current meeting, playing voicemail, or answering missed calls directly from Start. A click deeper gives access to more detailed information about call history, calendar, and people.

Start screen with meeting reminders

In addition, for users who limit the content displayed on their Home screens, notifications can be disabled with the option under Settings. The Start screen can be turned off completely if the user wants to continue using the original interface, consisting of only time, calls, address book, calendar, and voicemail.

Start screen and notification settings

2. Customize Quick Access to Apps

Microsoft wanted to make sure that the tools most related to users were easy to access, which is why Microsoft now has customization for apps with fast access. Users can customize the default views on the phone by adjusting which icons appear in the bottom bar. For example, users who spend most of their time on calls can set the screen to see only the “Calls” and “Voicemail” apps, and move the “People” and “Calendar” tabs to “more options.” The Home icon is available as long as the Start screen is turned on in user settings. IT administrators can also provision this customization option for all endpoints through the General Settings Policy for the Teams app.

More options to re-organize apps
More options to re-organize apps

3. Customize the default call view

A single user interface does not work for all users. For example, users with devices that don’t have a physical keyboard prefer to have a keyboard that’s always on, while others might prefer to use the quick dial number as their default landing page. Users can now adjust where they end up when they open the call app, whether it’s quick dialing, contacts, keypad, or call history. You can change this under Settings> Calls> Call Views. The phone icon can be used to switch between views.

Customize the default call view
Customize the default call view

4. Automatically Accept Meeting Nudges with video

Team video phones now allow you to automatically accept incoming requests to participate in scheduled meetings. This allows a meeting participant to automatically join a pre-scheduled meeting without having to click the “accept” icon on an interface, leading to a hands-free, seamless contact. One application of this scenario could be in the healthcare system, where care teams can check in to the patient’s bedside without the patient having to activate a meeting.

To maintain privacy and security, auto-accept settings are only enabled if:

  1. The Teams video phone is signed in with meeting room accounts (the Teams IP Phone Sign-in Mode policy setting must be set to Meeting Sign-in)
  2. The person who turns this feature on the Teams video phone has access to the phone’s admin password.
  3. The Teams video phone has already been invited to the scheduled meeting.
  4. Attendees within the same tenant can invite the Teams video phone to the meeting.

Automatically accept settings and experience
Automatically accept settings and experience

Note: Microsoft currently manually enables the auto accept feature for tenants requesting this feature. It will soon be available through policy. If you would like to enable this for your tenant, please contact your Microsoft support contact.

5. Support for Teams buttons

There is now a special Teams button on several new phone models, where a user presses the Teams button to quickly open the above-mentioned Home screen. This gives users easy, easy access to an overview of their notifications, voicemails, schedules and contacts. If the Teams button isn’t configured to start the Start screen, by default, the button automatically activates the Calling app.

6. Coming soon: a better meeting experience for meetings

The Teams phone and Teams Windows Desktop client will soon be working “Better Together” in a new experience for calls and meetings. The devices can be coordinated in such a way that when one device – phone or PC – is unlocked, the other is automatically unlocked as well.

During a meeting with Better Together mode on a PC, the call is automatically forwarded to the connected device, in this case a Teams phone. The connected device appears in the device settings in the pre-join screen.

better together

Once the user has participated in the meeting, the same meeting call control can be accessed from the connected phone or through the Teams Windows client.

better together

This feature can free up the PC screen for use for other purposes, such as co-authoring, taking notes, or engaging in other forms of collaboration while participating in a meeting or conversation at the same time.

Source: Microsoft Tech Community

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