Microsoft is expanding the features of Teams to include personal communication with friends and family. Traditionally used by offices and work places Teams will now let you add your personal account and let you communicate via text or video chats, group calls, share your location and even store and share your home WI-Fi password, login information, and so on with the people you want. These new features are currently being rolled out in the coming weeks as a preview for the mobile version of Teams on Android and iOS. Microsoft says that it plans on expanding these features to the desktop and web versions of Teams later this year.

Looking at some of the new features, it appears that Microsoft is trying to take on other popular messaging platforms such as iMessage, WhatsApp and Telegram. If you already use Microsoft Teams for work purposes, then you can simply go to settings and add your personal account. Some of the new features available in mobile preview includes group chatting and video calling. You’ll also be able to share GIFs, photos, video, documents and even your location, either to an individual or the entire group. Keep in mind that for all this to work you’ll need to get your other friends and family members to sign up for a Teams account too.

When sharing items in a group, you’ll be able to sort things like lists, documents, and calendars through the ‘Dashboard’ tab. If you are an Office 365 user, then having a personal Teams account is not a bad idea since it integrates with Word, Excel and PowerPoint. There’s also a new feature called ‘Safe,’ which seems interesting as it lets you store personal information such as Wi-Fi passwords, government IDs, login information, etc. You can then choose to share any of this with other members in your family, which is secured by a two-factor authentication and end-to encryption.

In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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