Hello readers, Hope you’re well.
I just found a new feature in Microsoft Teams that is definitely share worthy! You now have the ability to place a test call in Microsoft Teams!
Anyone that has been using Skype for Business or Lync before it or even OCS before that knows about the ability to place a test call in the client. Microsoft moved it around a few times. First it was in the device settings page with a button. Then it was under the dial pad. Now I think it only exists on the popup menu for devices and forwarding in the lower left.
However you get to it, you can check call quality in Skype for Business. When you click the button, it places a call to an auto answer service in Skype for Business Server and Online.
You’re greeted with a recording which says…
“To check your call quality, record a short message after the tone. Then wait to hear how you sound.”
Whatever you say next is recorded. You have a relatively short window to record something. Then the service plays back your recording for you to listen to. Along with…
“If you like what you’ve heard, you’re all set. If not, check your device settings.”
I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve used the audio test service over the last 10+ years working with Microsoft UC. Thousands is probably more or less accurate.
I use it when I have a new device. To test it is actually working for a start. But also to hear how I might sound to people I speak to while using the device.
I also use it when I’m in an unfamiliar area with a lot of noise and want to hear how my surroundings will sound on the call. I do this whether or not I have noise cancelling tech in my headset or endpoint.
I also use it in demo’s of Skype for Business or end user training. Just to show that its possible, but also to give the audience a first glimpse of a call and the controls.
To say that the audio test service is ubiquitous to Skype for Business and even Consumer Skype is an understatement.
Moving from Skype to Teams
Until today, Teams didn’t have this facility. I moved to Teams Only mode a few months ago. And I have definitely missed having the service there.
I’ve seen a few tweets about there being a speaker volume slider and a microphone sound meter in the device settings of an active call. I had a look and I definitely have that too.
NEW “Make a Test Call” feature
I look around the Teams client often to see if I can spot anything new. As Teams is in constant development, I often find something. Often something noteworthy. Last week it was the Announcement feature which I blogged about. This time it is the test call feature.
How to use it
To make a test call, open up settings
Go to devices and click Make a Test Call
This places a call to a bot called Teams Echo. Which is so new it doesn’t have a description of what it can do. Say hi to the bot in the message box.
Just like in Skype for Business, your greeted with a friendly voice that asks you to record a message after the beep. I haven’t memorised it yet. Suffice it to say it is a different service to Skype for Business. The intonation is much more playful.
One thing to note is that it is an audio and video call by default. It is definitely recording your voice, but not the video. Or at least it doesn’t play back your video (yet?). You can see below that you have three call control options. Stop/start video, Mute mic and end call. You also still have the switch camera button for when you have multiple cameras.
Once your done speaking, the recording is played back. Again with a suggestion that if you’re happy “you’ve configured Teams Correctly” or if not, check the device settings.
Then you get a results screen which shows the names of configured devices and a green tick to indicate that they worked.
Now if you took my suggestion to say hi to the bot when recording yourself, you will see the chat in recent under chats. You’ll see that the bot is available and you can pin the conversation to the pinned area.
TIP: Chris Williams from PlanetMagpie commented that if you are running the Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams clients side by side and have both enabled for calling (e.g. Islands Mode), the Teams test call will fail because Skype for Business has control of your audio device. If you exit from the Skype for Business client the test will work.
This is something that has been sorely missed from Teams. If you’re using Teams for any kind of calling, whether it is internal peer-to-peer or PSTN, you need this service. And now it is finally here!
That’s all folks!