Microsoft plans to roll out several new features this month for its Microsoft Teams phone offering - ones set to enhance user-friendliness for desktop/mobile users. During the COVID-19 pandemic - Microsoft Teams transformed significantly, gaining tens of millions of new users in a matter of just over a year. All this, accompanied by a platform facelift that focused on user security, low/no-code app integration, and more.

Although their daily user counts may vary, collaboration apps like Slack and Webex are on similar trajectories. Developers at Microsoft are doing everything they can to continue leading the pack of those contending for the coveted first-place spot of the "number-one" business collaboration app.

As such, a slew of features persist, and here is what to expect from the team collaboration giant in June for its Microsoft Teams phone offering. In this round of updates to Microsoft Teams phone, the company wrote in a blog post, they were excited to:


"Translate some of the great features users can experience with Teams on their PC or mobile phone to their desk phones."


Add or transfer calls to devices

Microsoft Teams users can already add/transfer calls as well as meetings across devices. And Microsoft recently announced that Teams phone users will gain the same functionality. These users will see a prompt that suggests adding a mobile device to split the audio, video, or transfer the call altogether.

"This comes in handy if you are in a call and need to move away from your PC - you can seamlessly stay connected," Microsoft added in the blog post. Microsoft Teams phone user devices can recognize when they are in a call on another device then advise them to transfer or add a call - extending a seamless experience.


Background replacement, contacts in Outlook, etc.

Background replacement for video phones is also available this month, and contacts in Microsoft Outlook are, too, available in read-only mode. Live captions are as well, for calls, assisting the deaf/hard-of-hearing, and furthering the company's workplace inclusivity goals.


General UI improvements for Teams phone

Microsoft released several user interface updates to Microsoft Teams phone. The company's express goal? To enhance how users interact with their calls and contacts, according to the company. Another new sharp feature:


"Now a boss or admin can easily see frequent contacts with instant options to view their call status or place an outgoing call to them," according to Microsoft.


If a contact has many numbers, the enhanced user interface now lets users select (from a drop-down menu) how they wish to contact others. Lastly, Microsoft will launch a new screen that alerts users if they have no voicemails - a sharp feature if it's been a busy period. There will even be support for Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) in the pre-call screen, which will facilitate quicker responses in auto-attendant scenarios, according to Microsoft.


Coming to Microsoft Teams this July

Microsoft's development roadmap is vast and filled with tons of features. Shawn Harry, Microsoft Cloud UCC Consultant Architect tipped me off about the next feature. Set to make its Microsoft Teams debut in July 2021, the app will soon support auto-record in meetings if users select the option.

As of now, the feature is a manual process. In July, Teams phone users can expect this process to become automated - an improvement of the platform's user experience, and a convenience," Harry remarked. He continued, telling GetVoIP News - the new feature should not act as a replacement for what he calls "Proper compliance call recording." This means that those being recorded still need to be made aware of the recording.

"It is also key to note that the usual data privacy and GDPR implications still apply, following the release of the feature in July 2021," Harry concluded.