What’s New in Microsoft 365 for January 2021

Here at Navo, we try to summarize all the latest changes in Microsoft 365 each month. These are the most recent changes to Microsoft 365 for January 2021 and some more changes that are rolling out over the next few months.

All rollout dates mentioned are for general availability timelines; Microsoft targeted release customers will get these features earlier.

Microsoft Teams Announcements for January 2021

History menu coming to Teams desktop apps

A new history menu is coming to Microsoft Teams desktop apps by late February, which will allow you to see and navigate to recently visited locations when you hover over the backward and forward navigation buttons.

The new History menu in the Microsoft Teams desktop app.

Approvals in Teams is now generally available

Approvals is a native Microsoft Teams application that uses the infrastructure of Power Automate to it easy for non-technical users to configure and use approval workflows in Microsoft Teams.

View approvals in the Approvals hub or across other programs such as Power Automate, SharePoint, and Dynamics 365.

Approvals in Microsoft Teams.

Presenter view for presentations

A new presenter view is coming to Microsoft Teams meetings by the end of this month for those who have the new meeting experience enabled.

In this new view, if you select a PowerPoint file from the share tray, it will automatically open in this view (for your eyes only).

Presenter view for presentations in Microsoft Teams.

Meeting reactions in Microsoft Teams

Meeting reactions like the ones currently available in Zoom are coming to Microsoft Teams by early February.

A new flyout menu will contain meeting reactions, including the “raise hand” feature that is currently available.

When content is shared during a meeting, reactions will float over the content, similar to reactions in Instagram Live or Facebook Live.

Meeting reactions in Microsoft Teams.
Meeting reactions in Microsoft Teams while content is being shared.

Channel calendar app

The channel calendar app, available by the end of this month, will allow team members to see scheduled channel meetings. This new app can be added as a tab to any channel, but will not be accessible by guest users.

Channel calendar app in Microsoft Teams. Thank you to OfficeITPros.com for the image!

Other Microsoft Teams announcements for January 2021

  • For those of us who are still using Outlook for Desktop, an update to the Teams add-in will add the option to create all meetings online as Teams meetings to your Outlook Options, bring a new “Meet Now” button to your calendar, and launch a prompt to set meeting options when organizing Teams meetings for 40 or more participants or 10 or more distribution lists.
  • By early February, a new audio driver will allow the Teams desktop app for MacOS to support sharing computer sound when sharing a screen during a meeting.
  • For those who use a MacBook Pro (2016 or newer), meeting controls – mute/unmute, turn camera on/off, etc. – are coming to the touch bar by the end of this month.
  • A new SharePoint tab, rolling out by the end of this month, brings document libraries, pages, and lists into the same app. Instead of choosing from separate apps, simply choose the “SharePoint” app and pick the content that you want to pin.
  • By the end of this month, selected actions in the Profile menu will be moving to a new menu in the title bar to separate Teams settings from account management settings.
  • The sharing experience in Teams meetings on desktop clients is getting a new look and feel by mid-March.
  • A meeting recap will be accessible from the Details tab of your events by mid-February; with this update, the meeting recording, transcript, and chat will all be automatically shared in the Chat tab too.
  • A streamlined calling experience will bring contacts, voicemail, and calling history into the same screen by the end of this month.

Microsoft SharePoint Online Announcements for January 2021

New first run experience for pages

By the end of February, a new first run experience in SharePoint will tour users through picking page templates, adding sections and web parts, titling pages, and choosing title images.

New first run experience for pages in SharePoint Online

New header configuration options

SharePoint sites will have new header configuration options, available inside the Change the Look menu, by the end of this month.

With this update, the new default site header will be the compact header, rather than the standard header – but this default will only apply to sites created after the update.

This update brings expanded site logo widths, options for site logo alignment, and the ability to provide a separate site logo and site thumbnail.

New header configuration options in Change the Look for SharePoint.

Audience targeting for Quick Links

The Quick Links web part will have audience targeting by the end of February.

This feature allows links to be targeted to individual groups of people.

If you’re curious how audience targeting works, there are a couple places where it exists today – try it out while adding links to Quick Launch or in the News web part.

The Quick Links web part in SharePoint

Microsoft Lists Announcements for January 2021

Microsoft Lists app available for iOS

The Microsoft Lists app is now available for iOS, which allows Apple mobile users to create and update lists from the comfort of their phone.

Microsoft Lists app for iOS

Thousands separator in lists number column

Currently, if you use the Number column for lists and enter a number with 4 or more digits, it will always have a comma added after the first number.

But numbers don’t always need that – for example, identification numbers – and this means that if you don’t want the comma to appear, you have to use the “Single line of text” field instead.

After early March, a toggle will allow you to enable or disable the thousands separator in Number columns.

Thousands separator for number columns

Column settings available in grid view (Quick Edit)

Grid view – formerly known as Quick Edit – allows you to quickly manipulate list data in a spreadsheet format.

Currently, if you are in grid view for a SharePoint list or a list in Microsoft Lists, you must exit the view (therefore saving your changes) to access the column settings.

By early March, users will be able to access column settings while using grid view.

Other Microsoft 365 Announcements for November 2020

Recommended bookmarks for Microsoft Search answers

Recommended bookmarks for Microsoft Search answers are rolling out by early March 2021. This feature will recommend resources from across sites for you to consider as bookmarks.

You must have Microsoft Search in Bing enabled for users to see these answers. Bookmarks can be configured under the admin center, inside Settings > Search & Intelligence > Answers > Bookmarks.

Recommended bookmarks for Microsoft Search

At a Glance summaries for Microsoft Word emails

By late March, sharing emails for Word documents will include an estimated time to read the document, and a list of key points from the document.

At a Glance summary for Microsoft Word emails

Text predictions in Outlook for Windows and iOS

Text predictions have been in Outlook on the web for a while, are now available for the Outlook desktop app for Windows, and will be available in Outlook for iOS by the end of February.

In the Outlook desktop app in Windows, accept suggested by hitting the Tab key; in iOS, accept it by swiping right.

In both apps, just keep typing to ignore text predictions.

This feature can be enabled or disabled in Outlook on the web, the Outlook desktop app for Windows, and the Outlook app for iOS, however, settings do not sync and must be configured separately for each app.

Text predictions for the Outlook desktop app for Windows
Text predictions for Outlook in iOS

Smart backgrounds in Microsoft Planner

By the end of this month, you will be able to view smart background image recommendations based on the title of your plan.

This feature is powered by the Designer feature that is currently available in Word and PowerPoint.

Smart backgrounds for Microsoft Planner

Intelligent file recommendations in Microsoft Planner

By the end of this month, Microsoft Planner will recommend files to add as attachments to tasks.

Intelligent file recommendations in Microsoft Planner

Dark mode in OneDrive for Web

Available now, dark mode for OneDrive for web can be toggled on under Settings.

Dark mode for OneDrive for web

Join us for “What’s New in Microsoft 365” February 2021

If you’d like to join our monthly Teams meeting where we talk about these changes, go to http://meetup.com/VicO365 and join our Meetup group. Although based in Victoria, our meetings are now 100% remote and open to everyone!

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