Microsoft details the various new features added to Microsoft 365 apps in April

Microsoft 365 with the Microsoft logo colors around it

As is the case every month, Microsoft today detailed the features that were added to its various Microsoft 365 offerings for this month. This month, the firm is highlighting updates made to Teams, Office apps such as Excel, Word, and Outlook, and more.

First up are the improvements being made to Teams, starting with the live transcription feature with speaker attribution that began rolling out to users in the U.S. in March. The feature lets users transcribe scheduled meetings, which serves to not only be an accessibility feature but also a way for users to refer to important points made during the meeting. Additionally, Teams is also getting a meeting recap feature that provides users with a recording, transcript, files, and chat history post the conclusion of the meeting, in the meeting’s Chat tab.

Polls in a Microsoft Teams call on a mobile phone
A Teams chat window with recording and chat transcripts of a Teams meeting

Another improvement comes in the way of the expansion of polls in Teams to external guests and those joining from the mobile app. The firm is also adding support for open text and multiple-choice quiz options in polls to expand the type of responses that can be gathered from attendees. Intelligent poll suggestions and post-meeting insights are also beginning to roll out to all users. Support for external guests and the new poll types will roll out in the next few weeks, the firm adds.

Next up are improvements to the Office suite of apps. Excel on the web is getting a new Show Changes collaboration feature that tracks and lists exact changes made to a spreadsheet by authors for up to 60 days. It is rolling out now to Microsoft 365 subscribers. The Redmond firm is also detailing the ‘Export to PowerPoint presentation’ feature introduced last month for word. This feature in Word helps users automatically convert a text document into a PowerPoint presentation using AI. The auto-generated presentation contains rich content such as icons, images, and videos.

Side by side comparison between Word document and automatically generated PowerPoint presentation

Outlook on the web is receiving a slight design refresh in the form of a refreshed left pane that contains the “core” Outlook components such as Email, Calendar, and Contacts along with shortcuts to other Microsoft 365 apps such as To Do, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Yammer, and more placed right under those icons. The design mimics that of the Office app on Windows and on the web. Microsoft says that it will eventually roll this out to the desktop app as well.

Microsoft Planner list with multiple labels for a task called Research and Purchase equipment

Lastly, a nifty improvement being made to Planner and Tasks in Teams relates to the editable labels. The tools will now allow users to add up to 25 labels, up from the previously available option to add just six.

Rounding things off, there is an update to the Remote Desktop app for Macs bringing native Apple Silicon support, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint gets added capabilities in preview form to let organizations “discover and secure unmanaged workstations, mobile devices, servers, and network devices”, and the public preview of Microsoft Viva learning.

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