As we move into February, we look into the latest updates for Microsoft Office 365. If you’re interested in collaborating through Microsoft Teams or managing content across different devices, you’ll be very excited for this month’s array of updates.
Microsoft Teams gets an app-centred makeover
Microsoft Teams’ most obvious rival in collaborative services is Slack. One area where Slack previously had the edge was in its app directory but the new Teams update looks to redress the balance. Now the Microsoft product has its own searchable Store for apps, as well as a personal apps space.
You can search the Store by app name or category and use the personal apps space to instantly access recently used items and apps that have been assigned to you.
You can also insert information from an app - like a Trello task or an interactive card - directly into a conversation with a single click.
The new command box
January’s Microsoft Teams update also introduced a new command box. Microsoft promises further functionality going forward but for now you can use it to search an app for information, such as a news article or an image in Adobe Creative Cloud and add it to your chat. Just type ‘@’ in the box for a list of apps you can command and query.
Slash commands are quick shortcuts used to perform tasks or navigate Teams. Type ‘/’ for a list of commands currently available.
Updates to iOS and Mac
A number of new capabilities were brought in for users on iOS and Mac. These include:
- Co-authoring: There is now a shared Office codebase for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. This means you can see who is working with you and view changes in a Word, PowerPoint or Excel document, irrespective of the device being used.
- AutoSave for Mac: Mac users with OneDrive and SharePoint now have an AutoSave feature for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Changes are automatically stored in the cloud but a ‘version history’ feature also allows you to easily restore and view previous versions.
- Drag and drop for iOS: A feature designed to make life easier for iPad and iPhone users, this allows you to drag and drop content and files from other apps, OneDrive or sources such as iMessage or SharePoint.
- OneDrive for iOS: The iOS 11 Files app now has native support on OneDrive, allowing file access from more iOS apps. OneDrive for iOS also has a more detailed list view and preview mode.
- Outlook for iOS: A new search experience uses the Microsoft Graph to deliver more personalised results.
- Learning Tools for Mac: Word for Mac now has support for the Immersive Reader and Read Aloud tools.
Education tools and the Yammer mobile app
Finally, we have a couple of standalone updates to finish with: the Yammer mobile app now has a new ‘Post announcements’ feature, as well as a ‘Praise’ option and the ability to use GIFs.
Office 365 Education users get a built-in Dictation in Office feature while Learning Tools are being expanded to Mac and iPhone.