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What's new in Microsoft Teams: Polls updates and more

Microsoft Teams in July got a new Polls app for running surveys and updates to Teams on the iPad.
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Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on
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Image: Shutterstock / Eakrin Rasadonyindee

Despite July's Teams outage, Microsoft has been busy releasing new features and apps, including a more sensibly named Polls app for quick surveys rather than Forms. 

Forms, which Microsoft set free for consumers in 2020, isn't going away. But on Teams, the Forms app is being replaced with a new app called "Polls" via Microsoft Forms, with a Teams-branded icon. 

Microsoft says in its July Teams update blogpost that the Polls app will make it easier to find and add polls to chats and meetings. 

SEE: Want a happy team at work? Make sure you don't forget this vital ingredient

The Polls user interface allows users to re-position the list of suggested polls from the bottom to the side of the pane. It also provides a doorway to the polls portal page where users can show or hide them in the side pane. And now Polls shows a view of the poll results rather than only showing the voting view, as it previously did. This lets the poll creator see how the poll looks to the audience after it's set live. 

Polls also provides a list of recently created polls to make re-use easier. Previously, poll creators had to make a new one from scratch each time. There's also a new purple halo animation that appears to users after a vote has been successfully submitted.

Microsoft has added a "Rating" as a new poll question type ,so users can respond to a five-star scale and see an aggregate score of overall ratings for a given question. 

Microsoft has published a support page explaining how to install and use the new Polls app for Teams. 

"Since November 2020, you had to add a tab—the Forms app—to your meeting to use polls in Teams meetings. Now you'll add a new app called Polls as an option for your meeting tab. The experience of preparing, launching, and evaluating polls via the Polls app will be the same as the previous experience via the Forms app," it states. 

Microsoft had planned to integrate LinkedIn profiles with Teams in April, but it appears to have been delayed by a few months. It's for one-to-one chat and provides LinkedIn work profile details about the person. Users can also add new LinkedIn contacts within Teams. 

SEE: How to make meetings effective and useful: 6 ways to actually get stuff done

Users will be able to view a colleague's LinkedIn profile from Teams chat, channels, calls, or meetings. 

Microsoft this month built on June's introduction of a collapsible right panel for Teams on the iPad for meetings. Now, Teams on the iPad is more able to adjust automatically to size, app orientation, and display modes. The app bar and canvas automatically align based on the screen size available to the Teams app.   

Microsoft in February unveiled a new-look set of 1,800 emojis for Teams based on Microsoft's Fluent Design principles. It also included a handful of 3D emojis. But they have't been universally popular. Several users have complained on Microsoft's Teams update blogpost that they're "horrible" and "off-putting". 

Microsoft designers said at the time the new emojis were unveiled that they are an extension of our humanity and not frivolous play things.  

"Because being playful or highly expressive doesn't come easily to everyone, emoji are the perfect little helpers. Far from being frivolous or ornamental, they're extensions of our own humanity and an important communication tool." 

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Image: Microsoft

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