Live Reactions, Together Mode in Teams Web and native Windows Notifications are available in Teams Public Preview

This week brought in several great features to Microsoft Teams! The Breakout Rooms was met with massive success and that might have overshadowed some other great features that came out.

  • Custom Praises
  • Ability to change Together Mode scenes
  • Teams Public Preview

When you enable Teams Public Preview you get your hands on to a few features that I describe in this blog post:

  • Live Reactions in Teams Meeting
  • Together Mode and Large Gallery in Teams Web version
  • Windows 10 native notifications.

There are also other features activated in Teams Public Preview. Take a look at the end of blog post to learn more.

How to enable Teams Public Preview

Your Teams Admins need to enable the Teams Update policy and appoint it to those users who can activate Teams Public Preview.

On default the policy is off. However Admins can go ahead and make it available to everyone by changing the Global policy. However that may confuse some users and those features are in preview so it should be defaulted to on for everyone – especially in larger organizations. But your champions, IT and other people may want to check out the upcoming features before they land – and updated company instructions in advance this time.

Once the policy has been set and some time (a few hours, typically two) has passed users can see the Public Preview option in their Teams.

When that Public Preview is turned on they receive a warning and then sign in to Teams again and can use the features.

After signing back to Teams users can see they have Public Preview on.

If you are familiar with different Teams “Rings” then Public Preview is Ring 3.6.. the TAP under NDA is Ring 3 and Generally Available (the normal) Teams is Ring 4.

NOTE: I don’t recommend keeping Public Preview ON all the time. Some features that exist in the normal version of Teams are not visible in Public Preview. Use it for testing specific features that are included in the monthly preview.

Live Reactions in Teams Meetings

When you are using Teams Public Preview and Teams Desktop Client with New Meeting experience on you can see that Raise hand icon has changed to Reactions icon.

These reactions will be “flowing” in the screen appearing and floating upwards. You can see them on top of the person’s picture or video.

In order to see these reactions also the other participants need to be in the Public Preview mode. If they are not: they don’t see these reactions.

Live Reactions are a great way to add up interactivity and feedback in Teams meetings. They take away some load from the chat and yet you can show your support to the speaker & other audience.

Together mode and Large gallery in Teams Web meetings

When you are in Teams Public Preview you can now view Together Mode and Large gallery in the web Teams as well. This works on Chrome and new Edge (Chromium-based) only.

As you can see you don’t have Live Reactions available in Teams Web – not even when you are in the Public Preview. And the other interesting part is that at Web version you can enable Together mode and Large Gallery even when you are alone in the meeting.

You don’t have option to Change the Scene for Together mode when you are in Web version. Teams Desktop got new scenes for Together Mode this week.

Windows Native Notifications

You can now (in Teams Public Preview) direct your Teams notifications to Windows Notifications area, instead of having these “toast/pop-up” notifications we are so familiar with. The good side is that these Windows Notifications also respect your Windows Focusing mode – thus managing your notifications in one place. The bad side is, that when I was testing this one out, that you tend to miss a lots of notifications more easily if your Windows is (like mine) in the Focusing mode (Alarms only) more often than not. Tuning your notifications there can help you.

You can access this using Teams Desktop with Teams Public Preview on and going to Teams Notifications Settings.

You can also adjust the message preview from the same place: thus eliminating the text from the toast/Window notification. This adds up to confidentiality especially when you are presenting something full screen or when there are people looking your shoulder. In those scenarios I recommend turning that off.

2 thoughts on “Live Reactions, Together Mode in Teams Web and native Windows Notifications are available in Teams Public Preview

  1. Hey Vesa. how come some features in GA is not available Public Preview? DId you experience this yourself or anything MS did communicate?

    Like

    1. I experienced this myself. First the prejoin screen to meeting was the old one but it was fixed later. However at least Teams Templates are not available at team creation when you are in the preview. I didn’t go through everything but since there were couple of issues I think it warrants a warning. At least to make people aware about the possible issues.

      Like

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