Microsoft is working on a series of updates for online collaboration platform Teams that will extend some of the most important and useful features to a larger pool of users.
A pair of new entries in the company’s product roadmap show that Microsoft Teams users dialling in from the office will soon benefit from both end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for one-on-one calls and the ability to join meetings via passcode.
The former will afford Teams Rooms users access to the gold standard level of security, making it impossible for third-parties to eavesdrop on discussions. Meanwhile, the ability to use a meeting ID and passcode to join a session will eliminate unnecessary hassle associated with the need to formally book a conference room in order to use it for a video meeting.Microsoft Teams for hybrid working
Since the transition to hybrid working, whereby employees split their time between the home and office, Microsoft has been vocal about the need to create a consistent meeting experience that spans all working locations.
For example, the company has leant heavily into the integration of PowerPoint and Teams, with the goal of ensuring presentations are as engaging and interactive for remote participants as for those in the room.
Separately, the company has rolled out new features – such as Loop components – designed to support asynchronous collaboration, helping to reduce the volume of meetings required to collaborate with remote colleagues.Read more
The philosophy extends to different types of user, as well as different working locations. In April 2022, for instance, Microsoft took steps to address common problems facing workers using Teams to field customer service calls.
With the latest round of updates, Microsoft is closing off the features gap between users running Teams from home or their desk via their business laptop and those making use of conference room hardware.
The new features are currently under development, but should roll out to users over the next few months. End-to-end encryption for Teams Rooms calls is currently scheduled to go live at some point in August, with the new joining option set to follow by the end of October.
After a long wait, Microsoft Teams is now officially fully optimized to run on Apple SIlicon devices, the companies have revealed.
The video conferencing service has been updated to provide native support for Apple-powered devices such as the M1 MacBook Pro, with the production-grade universal binary version of Teams designed to work on any Apple computer, including those with Apple’s own M-series chips.
Microsoft said in a blog post that Mac users should see a, “significant boost in performance, ensuring efficient use of device resources and an optimized Teams experience.” The update will better support professional users with multiple, high-res monitors, allowing for more than one Teams window.Read more
Despite its own, extensive catalog of hardware, Microsoft says that it is “committed to the Mac.”
Teams users on macOS devices will automatically be upgraded to the latest version which offers greater support and optimization, with general availability of the Teams app for M-series computers rolling out “in increments” over a period that could span several months.
Until then, users with Apple silicon computers will have to continue to use the Rosetta 2 translation technology. While effective, Rosetta 2 has a negative effect on the performance of any app that needs its supportMicrosoft Teams for Mac
Microsoft is working hard to make sure Teams is the best video conferencing suite available, and as such has been releasing several updates to the app.
Last month, it was announced that Yammer Communities would expand and evolve into Viva Engage - a new business-oriented social media platform that will reside inside the Teams app on any device - for eligible users.
This is in a move to ensure that the company is in a good position to support new hybrid working routines, which macOS users will soon finally be able to experience to the fullest.
- Compare the best business monitors for working from home and using Teams
Good news! A new Windows 11 update could be about to speed up your laptop or PC. Bad news! It’s actually fixing an issue that had been slowing down your device.
Windows 11 22H2 is the first major update for the operating system, and it’s due to arrive later this year with plenty of new features, as well as bug fixes.
One of those fixes, as Windows Latest reports, is a long-running problem with the Shell Infrastructure Host, which handles the Start menu, taskbar and other important components of Windows. The sihost.exe process would cause processor use to spike on some PCs without any need, and this would lead to the entire PC slowing down.
It seems that a bug causes the process to freeze, and draw increasing CPU power, and affects the performance of the Start menu and taskbar in particular.
This bug has been annoying people for a long while now, so it’s good to see that it appears to be addressed in the Windows 11 KB5016700 update, which is being tested by Windows Insiders right now.
Windows Insiders are users who have signed up to help try out early versions of Windows 11 updates, and the release notes state that the issue has been fixed. It’s expected that, all being well, the KB5016700 update will roll out to regular Windows 11 users alongside Windows 11 22H2, which is expected in the next few months.Analysis: A welcome speed boost – but it should never have been needed
(Image credit: Future)
Ordinarily, we’d celebrate any update that made our laptops and PCs faster, but the awkward fact is that this problem was down to Microsoft in the first place.
So, fixing a mistake that’s been annoying users for months isn’t really something to be crowing about, but we are glad that Microsoft has at least belatedly fixed the problem.
If you’ve noticed Windows 11 slowing down – especially when you use the Start menu or taskbar, then the Windows 11 KB5016700 update could fix it. At the moment, this is only available to Windows Insiders, but it's free to sign up for that.
However, while it means you’ll get Windows 11 updates before everyone else, bear in mind that these early releases could have bugs and problems themselves. Waiting until an official release, after Windows Insiders have identified any problems for Microsoft to fix, may be a better solution for people wanting to fix any Windows 11 problems.
Hopefully, we won’t have long to wait to get this update if it is indeed launching alongside Windows 11 22H2, which is widely expected to launch in late September. Despite how frustrating using a slow PC can be, it’s worth holding on for a few more weeks, just to be sure.
We were expecting iPadOS 16 to land in finished form in September, alongside iOS 16, but while the latter probably will land in September, sources now claim that iPadOS 16 has been pushed back to October.
This is according to according to “people with knowledge of the matter” speaking to Bloomberg, who claim that the delay is at least in part because iPadOS 16 is so ambitious, and could benefit from the extra development time.
Key to this update is Stage Manager, a feature which is already available in beta versions of the software, and which aims to transform multitasking on iPads, with the goal of improving productivity and bringing the tablets closer in functionality to a Mac. So it’s a big change, and something Apple isn’t including in iOS 16, so the iPhone software likely needs less work.
But that’s not the only reason put forward for the delay. Apparently, it would also allow Apple to focus more on iOS 16 in the coming weeks, so even though that might be in less need of extra attention, both operating system updates could receive more attention as a result of this delay.
We’d take these claims with a pinch of salt for now, but the article was penned by Mark Gurman, who has a solid track record for Apple information.Analysis: iPadOS 16 needs this extra polish
While this rumor of a delay is unconfirmed, it would certainly make sense, as in our hands-on impressions of the iPadOS 16 beta, we noted that Stage Manager is an exciting but currently quite flawed feature.
We found that it could be surprisingly clunky and unintuitive, so it could definitely benefit from some additional development time to get it more polished.
iOS 16 meanwhile seems to be in much better shape, going by our iOS 16 beta hands-on, so that should be relatively simple for Apple to get finished up by September.
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Google is rolling out a new “Asian-owned” identifier badge for American businesses that will appear on Search and Maps. The purpose of this new badge is to make Asian-owned businesses easier to find in a user’s local area.
Appearing as a red flower, business owners can adopt the optional new badge by first going to their respective Google Business account. Under the My Business section, owners will go to View Profile and then click Business Information. Scrolling down to the More section and clicking on “From the business”, they will be able to activate the “Identifies as Asian-owned” attribute. After hitting save, the red flower icon will pop up in the location’s Business Profile on Google Search and Maps.
We reached out to Google and asked if there are plans to expand the identifier internationally. Officially, there are plans to expand the Asian-owned badge to “ad-supported publishers” on Google’s Display & Video 360 marketing platform within the coming weeks, but nothing for other countries.
We’ll update this story if we hear back from Google.Supporting local business
Since July 2020, Google has been steadily rolling out identifiers for small businesses run by historically marginalized groups in the United States. Black-owned businesses were the first to be highlighted. Then it was Latino-owned, veteran, women, and, most recently, LGBTQ+ businesses.
Leanne Luce, Google’s Product Manager for Search, said in the announcement that the purpose of the badge is to support local communities who have been hurt by recent events like the pandemic and have them thrive. COVID-19, tragically, did a number on small businesses resulting in many closures across the country. Luce also brings up the “targeted acts of violence” on the Asian-American community as another driving force behind this new support.
To further foster growing businesses, Google also announced it’s expanding its partnership with the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC) to help “10,000 Asian-owned small businesses” learn digital skills via the Grow with Google initiative.Maps updates
Google has been churning out a lot of interesting features to Maps apps aimed at both businesses and the everyday person alike. In fact, several were announced back during the Google I/O 2022 conference.
Maps had some of its features revamped as such a new and improved bike navigation. Now cyclists will be able to see how the traffic is like on the road as well as how steep or windy the streets are. We are still missing Immersive View however, which would allow people to look inside restaurants before visiting.
For businesses, Google implemented a new AI to seek any errors with listings on Maps, namely opening hours. The machine learning model seeks out business profiles that haven’t been updated in a while and tells the owner to update their info.
But these tools are only the tip of the iceberg since Maps had a lot of hidden tools. We recommend checking out our list of the five things you didn’t know Google Maps could do.
There may truly be no escape from your emails now thanks to a new release from Microsoft.
First hinted at earlier this year, the company has now officially revealed a stripped-down version of its Outlook email service that it says can run smoothly on even the most basic of Android smartphones.
Available now, Outlook Lite offers all the key ingredients of the popular platform, but without the drain on battery life and system resources for those with low-end phones.Outlook Lite
The Outlook Lite app comes in at just 5MB, and was designed to run on devices with as little as 1GB RAM and also perform well on older 2G and 3G networks found in many undeveloped countries.
Despite that, Microsoft says it has packed all the most important part of the service into Outlook Lite, whilst making sure the app runs smoothly and speedily for users everywhere.
(Image credit: Microsoft)
"Outlook is used by millions of people daily for their email and calendaring needs across the world," Microsoft senior product manager Pradeep Elavarasan wrote in a blog post announcing the launch. "Yet, there are a wide range of devices that do not have all the capabilities required to get the best Outlook experience on their smartphone."
Elavarasan noted that the new service would be able to empower more individuals, schools, universities, and small businesses with an effective and efficient offering for their lightweight mobile devices.Read more
Microsoft also notes that the new service will support Outlook.com, Hotmail, Live, MSN, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Exchange Online accounts - so won't work with Gmail just yet.
Outlook Lite will initially be available to users in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela - with more countries possibly coming soon.
The launch comes as Microsoft also continues work on its future of the desktop Outlook service. Nicknamed One Outlook, the new release is aimed at business and education customers who subscribe to Microsoft 365 or Office 365.
Microsoft has added a number of updates and changes, including a new look and feel, message reminders, a single view for calendar, email, and to-do items, and the ability to more easily attach cloud files.
- Take matters into your own hands with the best email hosting providers