Big Microsoft Teams update brings new app integrations, commands, and more

Microsoft Teams

One added feature is a new searchable store, providing access to applications for Teams users.

During an interview with GeekWire, Larry Waldman, principal program manager for Microsoft Teams, gave an example of the kinds of problems Teams is trying to solve with these new features: picking a restaurant for a lunch with co-workers.

Discover apps for Teams in the new Store-We made it easier to search and discover apps and services available in Teams in the new Store. This is a great addition as apps have not been really easy to discover. They can search for apps by category, app name or type ("Bots, Tabs or Connectors"), per Microsoft's announcement.

A new "personal space" displays all the items that you've been assigned across your apps, like your tasks in Planner or issues in Jira Cloud, plus those from apps you've recently accessed, like OneNote notebooks or videos from Microsoft Stream. "In the same way that you can add an emoji or GIF [to a conversation], you can now bring information from apps into a chat or channel message with a simple click", Microsoft notes.


Search is one key way people navigate Teams to get to the information they're looking for. "Now you can command apps from the search box with "@" commands. Another example is like you can search for a task in Trello and insert into the conversation.

Search bar. The new Search bar is located front and center at the top of the Teams window and it lets you find quick commands actions and content, messages, and files. Over time, we'll add more command functionality, like the ability to create a task in your project management app or start a build in Visual Studio Team Services. For more, simply typing a slash will show you a list of commands at your disposal.

The Teams update is, in a sense, an admission that Teams' original Office-centric focus only took it so far.

"Another new shortcut rolling out to Teams users is the use of the slash ("/") symbol. Slack, of course, also has its own app directory, which has allowed it to highlight all the work tools that now work with its team collaboration resource - a move that helped it gain traction in the workplace. Make sure to check out the dedicated UserVoice website to help Microsoft prioritize new features.

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