For the reason that outbreak of COVID-19, it’s develop into a problem for many people to stability the varied elements of our lives. Whether or not it’s our jobs, homeschooling our children, or coordinating digital meetups with associates, managing all of this each day can get worrying. Because of this, instruments that assist us keep on observe and unencumber time for recharging have develop into increasingly more vital. Ever since we expanded Microsoft Groups past work and faculty and announced the preview of personal features in the Teams mobile app, I’ve discovered it useful to arrange and plan actions in my day-to-day life. From utilizing duties to trace my grocery buying checklist to scheduling digital birthday celebrations, Groups has develop into my all-in-one hub for organizing my private life.

Immediately, we’re excited to announce the preview of extra new private options in Groups that can make it even simpler to handle and plan your days. To start with, now you can add your private account within the Groups desktop or net app to talk with or name family and friends. With group chat and video calling now out there on each desktop and cellular, connecting and organizing with family members will probably be simpler than ever earlier than, particularly with holidays across the nook. We’re additionally including new options in preview within the Groups cellular app, corresponding to the flexibility to talk with associates or household who don’t have Groups on their telephones1, location alerts that allow you to know when somebody leaves or arrives at designated places2, and extra.

Chat and name family and friends—proper out of your desktop

Since most individuals began working from dwelling, the time we spend on our computer systems has risen dramatically. When you use your laptop to ship work emails and your cellphone to talk with family and friends, it could actually develop into troublesome to maintain observe of incoming messages throughout all of your gadgets. We need to make it simpler so that you can keep on high of your essential communications—throughout your work and private life—with out having to continuously swap between gadgets. Now, you may add your private account within the Groups desktop or net app and sync all of your chats to your laptop so you may keep on conversations on no matter machine you favor. Plus, you should use the Groups desktop or net app to name family and friends, even when they don’t have Groups put in, making it simpler to attach with family members throughout the holidays. Your work and private accounts open in numerous home windows or browser tabs in your laptop, making it straightforward to maintain them separate.

The next options are actually out there in preview within the Groups desktop and net apps, with extra options coming quickly:

  • Begin a private chat or create a gaggle chat with as much as 250 individuals.
  • Seamlessly sync your present chats out of your cellphone to your laptop and carry-on conversations on the machine of your selection.
  • Discuss all day free of charge with family and friends by way of video or audio calls.3
  • Share video assembly invitations with anybody, even when they don’t have Groups, and see as much as 49 of your pals and family members in a single body in Gallery view or Collectively mode.
  • Add and share images and movies out of your laptop in any private or group chat.

To begin utilizing private options in Groups in your laptop, observe these steps:

  • If you’re new to Groups, download the Teams desktop app and sign up with a private Microsoft account or create a brand new one to get began.
  • When you at present use the Groups desktop app at work, click on in your profile image on the top-right nook and choose ‘Add personal account’. Upon profitable login, Groups will launch a brand new window containing your private chats and teams so it’s straightforward to change between your work and private accounts.
    • Notice: We’re slowly rolling out the choice so as to add a private account to present business customers. So, should you don’t see this feature so as to add your private account, you’ll have to attend till your app is up to date or to your IT admin to allow it inside your group.
  • If you wish to use the private options in Groups in your net browser, go to this link and sign up or create a brand new private Microsoft account to get began.

Whereas you should use the Groups desktop and net apps to talk with or name family and friends, we’re engaged on bringing all the opposite private options out there within the Groups cellular app to desktop and net quickly.

Including extra options in preview on the Groups cellular app

We’re additionally introducing new options in preview within the Microsoft Groups cellular app to make it simpler to remain linked with family members.

Chat with individuals in Groups, even when they don’t seem to be utilizing the app

When beginning a gaggle chat with your pals or household, you shouldn’t have to fret about whether or not they may miss your chats in the event that they don’t have Groups. That is why we’re previewing a brand new characteristic on our Groups iOS and Android apps that means that you can chat with contacts who don’t have Groups put in on their telephones. Merely sort a contact’s identify or cellphone quantity so as to add them to a gaggle chat and, if they don’t seem to be on Groups, they’ll obtain and ship replies to the group by way of SMS, retaining the dialog flowing1. SMS contributors may even get a hyperlink to obtain the Groups app on their cellphone making it straightforward to get began on Groups and take full benefit of wealthy media messaging and chat by way of GIFs, photographs, or movies.

This characteristic is out there in preview for customers within the US and Canada. You possibly can learn more about this feature here.

Get notified when family members depart or arrive at a location

As all of us start to responsibly step out of our properties, we’re releasing new location options in preview that can make it simpler to your family members to obtain updates about your bodily whereabouts. Beginning at this time, you may enable your family members to obtain computerized alerts everytime you depart or arrive at a chosen location2. So, in case you are stepping out of your house each day, you may select to let your loved ones get computerized departure or arrival alerts in order that they know when you’ll be again dwelling.

Along with these, we’re additionally introducing the next new cellular options:

  • Add group occasions out of your chats to your machine’s calendar.
  • Get job and site updates in your exercise feed.
  • Add a photograph to your private Protected.

The brand new options have began to roll out in preview on the Groups cellular app and will probably be absolutely rolled out within the coming weeks. To get began, obtain the Groups cellular app from the iOS or Android app retailer.

We’re enthusiastic about persevering with to preview extra options in Groups that make it simpler so that you can set up and handle your private life. Whereas at this time is one other step in that course, we’re persevering with our efforts to carry much more options to you throughout all gadgets as we work in direction of making these options usually out there. As at all times, we worth your inputs throughout this journey, and we look ahead to receiving your suggestions.

Microsoft Groups

Arrange and join with family and friends–on desktop, net, or your cellphone.

Learn more

1 This characteristic is at present out there in preview solely within the US and Canada and is at present out there solely in group chats with two or extra contributors. Commonplace SMS knowledge prices apply.

2 To assist make sure the privateness of our customers, this characteristic will solely work in case you are already sharing your location with the particular person organising a location alert for you. Moreover, anytime somebody units up a location alert on you, Groups will notify you. To disable this characteristic, you may merely cease sharing your location.

3 That will help you keep linked within the coming months, it is possible for you to to fulfill for 24 hours with as much as 300 contributors till additional specified.

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