Microsoft Teams to get new Walkie-Talkie feature

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MS Teams

Microsoft is adding yet another new feature to its Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams, that will allow co-workers to turn their smartphones and tablets into a walkie-talkie that will work over Wi-Fi and mobile data.

The new update, which will be released over the coming months and will be embedded at the centre of the Teams navigation bar, is primarily aimed at frontline employees, team members who regularly deal with customers, and those who run day-to-day operations.

Microsoft is positioning the new tool as a more secure way of communicating, as traditional walkie-talkies generally operate on unsecure networks; promising a clear and instant connection that will mean “customers no longer have to worry about crosstalk or eavesdropping from outsiders.”

Unlike its major competitors, such as Slack and WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams is the first of the digital collaboration tools to initiate this method of communicating – following in the footsteps of Apple, who previously added the feature to its Apple Watch for FaceTime Audio calls.

Along with the new feature, Microsoft will also be dropping a set of new access management features as part of the rollout, including new SMS sign-in, shared device sign-out, and off-shift access controls.

MS Teams 2

Through the introduction of off-shift access controls, IT administrators will soon be able to configure Teams to limit employee access to the app from personal devices outside of working hours. The feature aims to help ensure that employees are not involuntarily working while not on shift.

For more on the latest updates Microsoft will be rolling out for Teams over the coming months, check out this blog post.