Microsoft first announced consumer features for Teams back in March, and it began making them available in the summer, starting with the mobile apps. So far, Teams on desktop and the web has been limited to commercial accounts, but that's starting to change. Microsoft has announced that it's now rolling out personal features in the Teams desktop and web apps in preview form.
With these personal features rolling out, Teams can be used to stay on top of conversations with friends and family, in addition to work-related conversations. Teams does pretty much what you'd expect a communications app to do, like one-on-one and group chats with cross-device sync, voice and video calls, and media sharing. You can also invite people to meetings even if they don't have Teams. It's essentially a successor to Skype, even though Skype is still alive and Microsoft has said it doesn't plan to kill off the service anytime soon.
If you want to try out the Teams personal features, you can download Teams for desktop here or access the web version here. If you already have a commercial Teams account, it may take a while longer to be able to add a personal account, as Microsoft says this is slowly rolling out. It's also possible for the features to be enabled on the web and not on desktop, based on our testing.
Microsoft has also announced a couple more features for Teams, specifically on mobile apps. For one thing, it's now possible to participate in a Teams group chat through SMS in the U.S. and Canada if you don't have the Teams app. Users can be added with their phone number and they'll be notified via SMS that they were added, complete with the ability to send and receive messages through their SMS app. This feature is one of the staples on Microsoft's GroupMe messaging app, so it's certainly interesting to see it brought over.
Additionally, Microsoft is adding location alerts, so you can be notified when one of your contacts arrives at or leaves a specific location. This only works if those contacts have already enabled location sharing with you.
Finally, a few more features for the Teams mobile apps include the ability to add group events from Teams chats to your phone's calendar, task and location updates on the activity feed, and being able to add a photo to your personal Safe. All of these features are rolling out in preview for the mobile apps.