Microsoft’s family-oriented Teams update now available in preview

The new features will be available to test on Android and iOS

Back in March, Microsoft unveiled its plan to make Teams the one-stop-shop for all things communication with a new family-oriented feature set. Those new features will start rolling out in preview on the Teams iOS and Android apps today and will be fully rolled out in the coming weeks.

To start, Microsoft detailed how users can get started with Teams. Those who already use the platform for work can open the app’s settings and select ‘add an account’ to sign in with their personal Microsoft account. There’s also an option to create a new personal account here as well. Finally, Microsoft notes the settings menu will be the space to swap between personal and work accounts.

For those who don’t currently use Teams, but want to get on the platform, Microsoft directs users to download it from the App Store or Play Store. Once downloaded, they can sign up with a personal Microsoft account or create one within Teams.

Many of the features that make Teams popular for business will also work on the personal version of the app. That means easy text chat and video calling to keep in touch with family and friends. The app also makes it easy to share lists, documents and calendars within the ‘group dashboard.’

Additionally, Teams integrates well with other Microsoft 365 apps, which lets you easily share Word, Excel and PowerPoint from within the app.

The app also supports location sharing features. For example, Teams makes it easy to let loved ones know if you’re running late, if you’ve gone to the grocery store and more. It can help parents keep track of kids’ online activity and location to make sure they’ve gotten home from school safely.

Of course, some of those features won’t be useful just yet, with many people remaining at home amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, as places begin to reopen, these tools could become more useful.

Those interested can learn more about Teams for families on Microsoft’s website.

Update 06/22/2020 at 3:13pm: Removed an incorrect reference to Microsoft integrating features between its upcoming Family Safety app and Teams.