Microsoft is now making available the personal version of Microsoft Teams as a preview. This isn’t a new service, it’s the same Teams app you already use for work, but with features tailored to regular consumers to do more than chat.
Also, in any way, the company is positioning the experience to compete with WhatsApp, iMessage, or similar services. Instead, Microsoft is repositioning the service for work and life, offering new ways to leverage the platform to group people to get things done together, such as planning activities, vacations, book clubs, fantasy football leagues, and more.
Teams integrates with Microsoft 365 apps, which means that you can easily share Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents from within the app. As part of the personal features, Teams includes location sharing to allow you to share your location with family and friends to let them know you’re running late, or you’re still at the grocery store getting the necessary supplies.
The app also includes Safe, which is a secure section within the experience to store and share important information, such as Wi-Fi passwords, login information for online services that you share together rewards numbers, and more. The feature is similar to the Vault feature available with OneDrive, which is baked with two-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption.
The app even includes a dashboard with images, tasks, locations, and events that everyone in the group has shared.
If you already using Teams for work on your mobile device, you don’t need to download a separate app. You only need to select the “Add an account” option and then sign in with your personal Microsoft account. Then using the settings, you can switch between your personal and work accounts.
In the case you don’t use Microsoft Teams, you’ll need to download the app on your iOS or Android device, and then, you’ll need to sign up with your Microsoft account without the need for a Microsoft 365 subscription.
Once you’re in the app, the last thing left to do is to invite family and friends and start connecting.