Microsoft deploys a subtle and effective modification to Microsoft Teams.

Subscribe to our cybersecurity newsletter for the latest information.Microsoft is pushing out a faster way for Teams users to toggle between gallery, together mode, focus mode and more to better align with the natural flow of video meetings. A new Teams ‘View Switcher’ is in public preview mode. The view switcher allows users to click from a continually accessible menu of different views.

This Microsoft Teams feature explained

The feature was initially announced at the Microsoft Ignite 2021 event, in March. In the past, different views were available as options via the ellipsis ‘overflow’ menu in the meeting toolbar. However, the new view switcher feature makes it easier to switch between views and to control shared content and visual distractions. The view switcher icon -located along the top left of the screen- permits quick switching between gallery, large gallery, together mode, the gallery at top, focus and full screen.

Microsoft says that the new view switcher is available on the Teams app for Windows 10/11 and macOS. Users can choose ‘together mode’ as to avoid visual distractions. Choosing the gallery mode aggregates all video feeds in the upper portion of a meeting window, increasing seeming eye-contact with participants. Focus mode makes video feeds invisible and only shows shared content. Full screen enables participants to remove other distractions.

Microsoft Teams features and the pandemic

Microsoft chose to roll out different viewing modes to support the high volume of video meetings amidst the pandemic. In September of this year, the company announced additional new meeting features designed to support hybrid groups. Upcoming features include AI-powered meeting cameras and hot-desking features for Teams displays, enabling workers to more easily locate and reserve flexible workspaces in reimagined offices.

Although Microsoft’s feature update appears relatively minor, it is expected to benefit people who routinely use Teams for large meetings. To leverage the new view switcher feature, users must be in the Teams public preview and IT admins must configure systems as to allow preview features. Users without public preview privileges can continue to switch through views via the ellipses overflow menu.

O365 and Viva platform upgrades

Microsoft also announced new features across its Office 365 and Viva platforms. The objective is to place frontline workers –who commonly execute day-to-day tasks away from traditional desks- on equal footing with information workers.

The company is deploying a public preview of Microsoft Endpoint Manager, which is designed to manage devices operating on Android Open Source Project (AOSP). This is used to create custom implementations of Android. At present, Endpoint Manager does support iOS and Android systems. The expansion of Endpoint Manager is targeted towards purpose-built devices, like RealWear head-mounted wearables, which can integrate with Teams. The new developments in Microsoft Endpoint Manager will enable easier device management, providing frontline workers with more time to attend to critical tasks.

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