Microsoft Teams in-meeting apps now work in 1-2-1 and group calls!
Exciting news for Microsoft Teams developers that have built in-meeting apps. Those apps will now also work in 1-2-1 and group calls, not just meetings. No extra work is needed, the apps will appear and can be added to any conversation, once it has escalated to voice/video.
This has been a bit of a feature gap since in-meeting apps came out. As a user trying to be as productive as possible, there really isn’t difference between a group call with 5 people, and a meeting of 5 people – so having a different set of features is confusing. With this change, Microsoft are reducing the difference and making using apps in Teams more natural.
In a blog post, from last week, Microsoft announced this change, referred to 1-2-1 and group calls, as “Microsoft Teams Voice over IP (VoIP)”, which I found to be quite a puzzling term, until I read the context of the announcement. Microsoft also confirmed that “All of the meeting apps APIs that your app uses will now work in Teams calls.”
If you app needs to know which context it’s running in, there is a way to do this, by using the Get meeting details API. This API call takes the meetingID as a parameter, which is available to the Teams Client SDK for meetings. I haven’t tried, but I assume that this parameter must also be available when the SDK is invoked from a call. One of those places where the parameter name is going to end up being curiously misnamed because of the history of features. 🙂
Developer Preview only today
Right now, if you want to try this out, you will have to be using Developer Preview mode. This is usual for a new feature that has the potential to impact apps: it gives developers time to see how their app runs in an entirely new environment. This is particularly true here, where all existing in-meeting apps are being made available. It’s possible that some code in those apps assumes it is running in a meeting, in a way that means it breaks when used in a call.
What about Meet Now?
Meet Now scenarios, which Microsoft sometimes calls “Instant meetings”, are also covered by this new feature, meaning that in-meeting apps will now work here too. Whilst this wasn’t specifically mentioned in the announcement blog post, the documentation for in-meeting apps has also been updated and confirms it:
Watch out for (the rough edges)…
There are few things to be aware of. Some of these might get fixed over time, but knowing about them means you can include their behavior in user documentation, or respond to support tickets about them:
- Moving from a 2-person call to a call with 3+ people, removes all existing apps. (because it moves from a call to a meeting, so it’s a new session, so all the apps go…)
- You cannot add apps to channel meetings.
- Users will need to be running Developer Preview to see these apps in a call
- You cannot add an app via the mobile client