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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it was Microsoft Teams that gained popularity for allowing organizations and colleagues to interact with each other for real-time collaboration. Teams has quickly become a one-stop solution for video calling and collaboration but Microsoft hasn’t yet given up on its decade-old offering – Skype.

Even after Teams’ increasing userbase, Skype continues to receive timely updates and new features, and this time, it gets one of the highlight offerings of its newer Microsoft sibling in the form of Together mode. In this post, we’ll explain to you what Together mode is on Skype, where you can access it, how you can enable it inside your meetings on Skype, and more.

Together mode on Skype: What is it?

If you’re someone who has been spending an enormous amount of time attending meetings or classes from the confinements of your home and has gotten quite bored of it, then Skype’s Together mode might be something you would love. Think of the Together mode as one big virtual background for everyone in a Skype video call.

Having debuted in Microsoft Teams earlier this year, Together mode is a view changing option available inside video calls on Skype. The option is a welcome change in the current scenario of WFH (Work from home) putting participants close to one another in a shared space instead of placing them inside a box on a grid view.

With this mode enabled, you will see others in your video call seated in the same place like you’d see them classroom or a meeting room and thus boost the morale of group meetings to a more connected and natural level.

Which devices support Together mode on Skype?

The Release notes for Skype 8.67 say that the newly added Together mode is available on the Skype app on Windows, Mac, and Linux as well as the web version of Skype on all desktops. Although support for mobile hasn’t been mentioned on this page, there’s a separate Skype Support article that confirms that Together mode will also be available on Android, iPhone, and iPad.

How many people do you need to activate Together mode on Skype?

In its official announcement, Skype didn’t reveal anything about the minimum or maximum strength of participants required for Together mode to work during video calls. However, when we put it to testing, the Skype client prompted that you “need at least 5 participants” to trigger Together mode.

What this essentially means is that in order for Together mode to get activated and available as an option, there should at least be 5 participants available with their video-enabled.

How to use Microsoft Together mode on Skype

You can enable and use the Together mode on Skype only when you’re in a video call on the Skype app. The Together mode can be accessed when you pull up the Switch View menu inside the calling screen.

On Mac/PC

Before you switch to Together mode on Skype, open the Skype app on your desktop or head over to the Skype Web and host/join a meeting. After you have joined a meeting, wait for others to join, at least until 4 more have joined to make Together mode to you.

Once the meeting has welcome all participants, go to the Switch View button at the top right.

Now, select the Together mode option from the drop-down menu and wait for Skype to activate it for you.

When Together mode is turned ON, everyone in the meeting will be assigned to a virtual environment next to each other.

On Android/iOS

Similar to the function on its desktop client, Together Mode is also available on the Skype app on iOS and Android. Before triggering the option on your phone, open the Skype app on iOS or Android, and then join/host a meeting inside the app.

After you have entered the video call, wait for others to join or at least until there are 5 members with their camera enabled.

Once all of the participants have joined, tap on the Call layout button at the top right.

A popup menu should appear at the bottom of your screen. Select the ‘Together mode’ option from this menu and Skype should start laying all meeting participants in a virtual space where you’re all next to each other.

When can you most benefit from Together mode?

Together mode can be beneficial for a number of reasons. These include:

To attend meetings with multiple speakers if you’re bored with the regular old Grid view

To attend a stream of meetings/sessions one after the other

To make classes and seminars more fun and interesting so that others aren’t feeling left out or bored

To attend meetings where the organizer relies on participant feedback

When should you NOT use Together mode?

While it can help increase a sense of companionship, Together mode can sometimes be not as useful as it’s meant to be. We recommend you don’t enable Together mode on Skype during the following instances:

If you have more than 49 participants in a meeting, then Together mode will cease to work.

If you or others in a meeting are moving or have a background with continuous motion, together mode won’t be as smooth as earlier. This is because together mode works on the same principle as virtual backgrounds and has to detect a person’s outline over their background. If a background is continuously changing, Skype won’t be able to add the user to the Together mode view.

If you or others have to share a presentation, Together mode should be avoided as it’s incompatible with the current version of Skype.

Why can’t you use Together mode on Skype?

If you aren’t able to enable Together mode inside a Skype video call, it must be happening to you for any one of the following reasons:

You don’t have the latest version of Skype installed on you compatible device: Together mode along with other additions are part of the Skype 8.67 release. So you need to make sure that the Skype app on your Android/iOS/Mac/ Windows/Linux device has been updated to its latest available version.

The feature isn’t yet available for your account: Skype has mentioned (on Dec 17) that Together mode along with other new features will be rolling out gradually over the next couple of days. This means that if you don’t see Together mode on your device yet, you should wait a little more before it is activated.

The meeting you are in has less than 5 people with their video ON: As explained above,  Together mode will only be available to you if you’re in a meeting with 4 other people including you. Also, all the people in this meeting should have enabled their camera feed so that Skype is able to detect them and place them in a virtual environment.

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Microsoft Teams Adds ‘Together Mode’ In Massive Update

Microsoft today said that it’s shaking up online Teams video meetings with a new “Together mode” that places participants in a virtual auditorium. It’s all part of a redesigned Teams experience that capitalizes on some of the promises Microsoft has been making for years. There’s even a pair of Teams smart displays.

Several features play into this aspect of the Teams revamp, including chat bubbles, an updated way to “raise you hand” during meetings, and even live reactions. An earlier version of the “raise hand” option simply popped up a small hand icon. Now Teams will outline that particular speaker window in yellow, as an unobtrusive signal that the participant wishes to contribute. 

Text is a priority in Teams’ video calls

Microsoft

Here’s what a post-meeting transcript within Microsoft Teams will look like.

Microsoft has also said for a while now that transcription and translation are a key part of the collaborative office experience, from showing off automatic translation in Skype to its vision of the office of the future, where a conversation is translated in real time. Speaker attribution, where Teams automatically highlights the speaker, will arrive “soon,” Microsoft said.

Microsoft

Live transcription within Teams.

Microsoft promised that live transcripts will arrive later this year, together with a searchable transcript file that will be attached to the meeting. Real-time transcriptions will follow soon after that, Microsoft said. (The company made clear, however, that it will not be able to pick out individual speakers from a group that’s joining a Teams chat from, say, a conference room.)

Microsoft

The new dynamic mode within Microsoft Teams.

Making Teams video look better with Together mode and more

Microsoft was late to the game with AI backgrounds, and it’s now trying to recapture the conversation. Teams will begin adding video filters to adjust lighting levels algorithmically and create other effects, enhancing the way you look on camera. Teams is adding a dynamic view, which will adjust the size of the video windows that show participants, but also allow you to “pin” key speakers, so their windows will never be accidentally minimalized.

Microsoft

A “coffee shop” view appears to be one of the upcoming alternatives within Teams’ “together mode”.

Mobile Teams adds Cortana

Within the coming weeks, Microsoft said, Teams users on Android and iOS (and who subscribe to Microsoft 365) will be able to ask Cortana to make a call, send files and author chat messages, and more.

New Teams hardware on the horizon

Finally, Microsoft said that the Microsoft Teams hardware that was announced earlier this year will be deployed later this year. Microsoft’s statement was a little odd, given that the Lenovo ThinkSmart View, a $350 device that Lenovo announced at CES in January, is already available and shipping.

The ThinkSmart View is a “companion” device that works alongside a laptop, connecting (exclusively) to Teams and providing a 5MP front-facing camera and a 1200×800 8-inch IPS screen for conducting video calls. Presumably, a second companion device from Yealink that will debut later this year will have similar features.

Lenovo

Lenovo’s ThinkSmart View, one of a new breed of surprisingly affordable Teams hardware.

Finally, Microsoft said that Teams capabilities will be added to the Surface Hub, complete with a new room remote feature that will go live later this year within the Teams mobile app. Users will be able to use the app to launch features via voice command. 

How To Use Skype Like A Pro

How to Use Skype Like A Pro Create a Skype Meeting Within Outlook

Use Microsoft Outlook to setup a Skype Meeting without wasting time on scheduling meetings on other tools. Chances of errors are higher on other tools. Someone might forget to join on time while others don’t have appropriate browser plugins installed or some other issue. Avoid all this hassle by simply using a Skype for Business account.

Step 3. Skype for Business will automatically launch to join the meeting.

Know Few Skype Shortcuts

During a meeting or a call, if you know a few basic simple keyboard shortcuts, life becomes easy to manage or take control over the meeting.

Accept an Incoming Invitation Win + Shift + O

Decline an Incoming Invitation Win + Esc

Mute/Unmute Audio Win + F4

Pause/Resume Video Win + F5

Put a Call on Hold Ctrl + Shift + H

End a Call Alt + Q

Stop Sharing Your Screen Ctrl + Alt + S

Regain Control of a Shared Screen Ctrl + Alt + Spacebar

There are hundreds of keyboard shortcuts for Skype. We have listed a few basic shortcuts and rest can be accessed on chúng tôi .

Record A Meeting

There are people who get complete blank once the meeting is over or after the call ends. To overcome this, you can record all your Skype meetings. Skype latest version not only records a call, but also records call activity, audio, video, screen share, and instant messages. You can do the same by following these steps:

Note: Everyone connected to the meeting will be notified that you’re recording the session. A red circle symbol will appear at the top of the call throughout the session. The meeting can be paused or stopped as per the need. As soon as the meeting finishes, the recording will end and will be automatically saved in MP4 format.

Where to Look for A Recorded Session?

Set Privacy Relationship for Contacts

There are Five Relationship Levels by default in your Skype contact category. Every individual contact can be assigned within one of these categories. Each relationship level is assigned with different permissions. For example, Friends and Family can’t see your meeting details and Workgroup can interrupt your ‘Do Not Disturb’ status.

Start a Poll, Q&A, OR Whiteboard

Selecting Whiteboard will open a white drawing area with tools to draw or highlight something just like MS Paint. The whiteboard will minimize if you switch to other presenting options, but the content will remain intact for further use.

If you go for a Poll option, it will open a window to vote out options. You can gather choices of other participants by using a Poll option. You can select ‘Poll Actions’ to adjust the settings, like hiding the votes from attendees, saving the results, or closing the poll.

If you go with Q&A, it will switch the standard chat window into a Question and Answer module. If any attendee asks a question, you’ll receive a notification to type a response and press Enter. This will display the question and answer to everyone in the meeting. You can also save the recorded Q&A session for further references.

Presenting a PowerPoint Presentation

There are hundreds of personal settings and ‘How To’ options within Skype. For more information, you may navigate to chúng tôi page and explore more tip and tricks on Skype.

Summing Up

If you use Skype as an alternative, then the information handy is enough however using Skype like a Pro takes a lot of time and energy. If you use Skype for Business then the above tips and tricks must be fruitful to you. Skype download is available for almost all communication devices and it’s recommended to proceed to Skype login and look for Skype updates. Skype latest version will surely provide you an enhanced experience and more options to use. You should always keep your Skype account safe and secured with more personalized options when you Skype online. If this article turned out to be helpful to you, Please like and share this with your colleagues.

For more such tips, tricks and tech related updates visit Tweak Library and if you are more into tech-related videos do watch and subscribe to our YouTube channel. You can also reach us on Facebook and Pinterest.

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How To Use Microsoft Teams

What is Microsoft Teams?

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Microsoft Teams is a productivity and collaboration tool that integrates into the larger Microsoft 365 platform. It has features for communicating with organizations, private chats with individuals and groups, video meetings and conferences, etc.

Is Microsoft Teams free?

How to download the Microsoft Teams app

How to create a Team

Nick Fernandez / Android Authority

The first thing you need to do (unless you’re joining an existing team) is creating a team. Even if you are joining a company team, you may want to make another one to chat with groups of friends.

Open the Teams tab on the left-hand side.

Choose whether to Build a team from scratch or pull in contacts from an existing group or team.

Select privacy settings: Private, Public, or Org-wide.

Enter a name and description.

Once in the team, you’ll see the main team chat with a list of channels below. Channels are group chats around a single theme. You can also have private chats with individuals or groups.

How to start and pop out a chat

Channels are great for sharing information with your entire team, but chats are the better option for quick questions to colleagues. They’re private, easy to keep organized, and much more likely to get a response than a channel post.

Here’s how to start a Microsoft Teams chat:

Open the Chat tab on the left-hand side.

Enter the person’s name and write your message.

Hit the send arrow.

Open the Calendar tab on the left-hand side.

Enter the details of your meeting.

You can also create a meeting from a channel, automatically inviting all channel members. If you’re having trouble finding a suitable time, you can check the scheduling assistant tab at the upper part of the screen to see the invitees’ schedules. You can create and share a Teams meeting link if you like.

Open the Calendar tab on the left-hand side.

Adjust your video and audio settings.

How to share your screen in a meeting

Ankit Banerjee / Android Authority

Sharing files in a Microsoft Teams channel is great, but you need to share your screen in a meeting if you want to run through it in person. Teams make it easy to do this. It even has built-in integration with PowerPoint for easy business presentations.

Select the screen, window, or document to share.

A red border appears around the content you’re actively sharing.

How to change your Teams meeting background

Ankit Banerjee / Android Authority

In the current era of telecommuting and working from home, it’s likely that your home office isn’t exactly the most professional environment. This is usually fine, but you might want something discreet for client meetings or video conferences with your boss. That’s where Microsoft Teams virtual backgrounds come in.

There are two ways to change your Teams meeting background: One with a simple blur or one with a background image. Both take just a few seconds to set up. Not all hardware supports this, so you may need to upgrade your camera if the option doesn’t appear.

You can change your background before or after a meeting starts, but the steps are pretty much the same:

Select Show background effects.

Choose a blurred background or virtual background image.

If you add your own image, make sure it’s sufficiently high quality, or it may look too blurry. For business use, you should also avoid using copyrighted photos or imagery.

FAQ

Yes, Teams is HIPAA and GDPR compliant, but administrators may need to take some extra steps. An Office 365 E5 business subscription includes access to the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center, which provides a host of tools for data management. Learn more here.

Yes, Teams has a few trivia games available as apps. A few popular options are Kahoot! and Quizlet. You can also play Pictionary using the whiteboard feature.

Yes. You can find both Debian (.deb) and Red Hat-based (.rpm) distributions on the official download page.

Yes, but you need to set it up in Outlook. Your Out of Office status will carry over to Teams, but your message will appear under your profile instead of an email reply.

Yes, Teams is a part of Microsoft 365 and is included in all subscription plans.

All Microsoft Teams meeting recordings are stored on OneDrive and SharePoint.

How To Go On To Quiet Mode On Instagram

Meta has recently released a few good features for Instagram. One of them, called ‘Quiet Mode’, is a time-management and focus tool that lets users, especially teens, use the app more responsibly. With it, Instagram users can silence their push notifications whenever they are taking a break from the app.  

Here is everything you need to know about the new Quiet Mode feature, what it is, what it does, and how to turn it on or off with ease.

What is Quiet Mode on Instagram

Instagram will also prompt teenagers to enable this new feature if they spend too much time on Instagram, especially at night. Exactly how many hours one needs to spend on Instagram at night for this prompt to appear is unclear as of now.  

All this comes at a time when criticism about Instagram’s impact on the mental health of teenagers is on the rise. With such changes, Instagram is doing all that it can to move away from its association with teenage addiction and social media anxiety. 

How to put on Quiet Mode on Instagram

Here’s how to turn on Quiet Mode on Instagram.

Open the Instagram app on your phone. Next, tap on your profile icon. 

Then tap on the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) at the top right corner.

Select Settings.

Select Notifications.

You should see Quiet mode here. Tap on it to access its options.

Toggle on the switch next to Quiet Mode. 

Once enabled, you will get a confirmation about the same.

You can also change the hours during which Quiet Mode turns on automatically from the same Quiet mode settings page or by tapping on Edit once it is turned on.

Then tap under “Turn on automatically” to select your hours.

Choose your quiet mode hours. Quiet mode can remain turned on for 12 hours at a time.

The ‘Quiet Mode’ feature is currently available in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and will be rolled out to more countries soon.

How to turn off Quiet Mode on Instagram

Turning off Quiet Mode is as simple as enabling it on Instagram. To do so, go to the same Notification settings page from your profile icon and select Quiet Mode. 

Then simply toggle off Quiet Mode. You can use the guide above for turning off to reach the page where you can turn its toggle off.

What happens when you turn on Quite Mode on Instagram

Quiet Mode is quite an intelligent feature. When enabled, apart from silencing your Instagram notifications, it will automatically set your status to ‘In quiet mode‘.

On top of that, it will also reply to those who are messaging you, telling them that the user wasn’t notified about the message “because they’re in quiet mode”. 

This screen lets you also turn on Quiet Mode. If you’re at the receiving end of this message, you will see the option to “Turn on quiet mode” next to it (see image above). Simply tap on it to turn it on. 

After a session, once ‘Quiet Mode’ is turned off, Instagram will show a summary of missed notifications for you to catch up on.

FAQs

In this section, we shed some light on commonly asked questions about Instagram’s quiet mode feature and look to answer the same.

How does quiet mode work?

How to tell if someone has turned on Quiet Mode on Instagram?

The simplest way to tell if someone has turned on Quiet Mode on Instagram is to check their status (from the messaging screen). Alternatively, try sending them a message. If quiet mode is turned on, Instagram will let you know the same. 

How is ‘Quiet mode’ different from ‘Pause notifications’?

Quiet Mode is not unlike the ‘Pause notifications’ option that it sits under on the Settings page. But unlike its older cousin, Quiet Mode can do more than just pause notifications. It can be set to turn on automatically during certain hours of the day which is a great feature to have. Additionally, once enabled, it will set your status to “In Quiet Mode” and also let users messaging you know that you’re in quiet mode and their messages won’t notify you. 

The recent Instagram feature updates also let you manage your recommendations in the Explore section. With these new tools, Instagram is pushing the envelope for more user control over what they see and how much they interact with the app. At a time when concerns over social media addiction and its mental health impacts are on the rise, these are important steps in the right direction for Instagram and Meta. 

How To Use Voice Typing In Microsoft Edge On Windows 11/10

Windows 11 has come with a new design and many new features. While the entirely new interface is a visual treat, the new features certainly will improve your productivity and browsing experience. Microsoft Edge, the default web browser of Microsoft has also gotten some new features like Voice Typing Support and MS Editor. Let’s learn a little more about these two new features and how to use them.

Voice Typing and Speech Recognition are some of the hottest topics. Companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon are trying to make their Speech Recognition algorithm as accurate as possible. In this article, we are going to learn how to use Voice Typing in Microsoft Edge. Before using Voice Typing in Edge, you need to make sure that the Online Speech Recognition feature is enabled on your PC.

Now, use the toggle to enable “Online speech recognition”.

Once you have enabled this feature, use the following method for Voice Typing – depending on your version of Microsoft Edge.

Using Voice Typing in Microsoft Edge

The Voice Typing support which was earlier this quarter released for Google Chrome is now available for Microsoft Edge too. You can now use your Voice Commands instead of typing the text on the browser. The feature is powered by Microsoft Online Speech technology. Remember that your computer needs to have a functional microphone and an internet connection to use this feature.

It is a very useful feature. Whether you want to write long emails, write a blog post, make some report in your school, do an assignment, reply to your customer’s tickets, or any other such activities. The feature also includes punctuations, so you do not need to worry at all and just dictate everything you want to write.

To use Voice Typing Support in Edge, launch the browser and press Win+H on your keyboard.

You will see the Microphone Tool open in your browser which is already listening to you.

Speak, and the tool will start typing your words.

Make sure you select a text box before you start speaking, otherwise it won’t work.

Simple as that right? The feature so far supports 40+  languages which include English, French, German, Spanish, and more.

To stop voice typing, just give a voice typing command like “Stop listening” or press the microphone icon on your keyboard. (My HP laptop doesn’t have one though)

Voice Typing Launcher in Edge

Now since it is a wonderful and useful feature that will ease out your workload, I am sure you will need to use it quite often. Well, there is a setting for you here. You can enable the Voice Typing Launcher and the feature will turn on as soon as you select a text box.

Auto Punctuation in Voice Typing in Edge

Enable the Auto Punctuation by turning the button on. Here onwards, you don’t need to worry about the punctuations and just dictate the matter.

Microsoft also values your feedback and thus there is also an option given where you can leave your feedback about this new tool added to Microsoft Edge.

Add a New Voice Typing Languagein Edge

Here’s how:

Find Preferred languages in the list and select Add a language.

Search for the language you’d like to install, then select Next.

Follow the steps and you are done.

Important Voice Commands in Edge

Stop or pause typing– Say Pause voice typing/ Pause dictation/ Stop voice typing/ Stop dictation/ Stop listening/ Stop dictating/ Stop voice mode or Pause voice mode.

Delete last spoken word or phrase- Say, Delete that/ Erase that/ Scratch that.

Select last spoken word or phrase- Select that

Contribute Voice Clips to Microsoft

The feature undoubtedly is wonderful and useful but as the team still wants to improve it and make it of better use, they are asking for your voice clips. Your voice clips will be used by the team to build better voice-enabled capabilities that will benefit the users across all their services and products. Your voice clips will help them train their speech recognition technology to be more accurate and precise for everyone who speaks your language and is using this feature.

To contribute your voice clips, press Win+H on your keyboard and open the Voice Typing Launcher.

Does Microsoft Edge have dictation?

Yes, with the latest Windows 11 upgrade, Microsoft Edge got the dictation feature. You can now enter the text on Edge by speaking.

How do I turn on voice typing in Microsoft Edge?

If you have installed Windows 11 on your PC, the feature will by default be available in the Microsoft Edge browser. Simply press Win+H keys on your keyboard and you can launch the voice typing feature.

How do you dictate in Edge?

Press Win+H keys on your keyboard or simply hit the microphone icon on your keyboard to launch the voice typing feature. You will then see a microphone icon on your screen saying, “listening”. You can then start dictating and the tool will automatically type the text.

Read next: How to set up and use Voice Typing in Google Docs.

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