Timelines, 3D Support, Read Aloud Gets into Office 365 Update

New Microsoft 365, business apps in Office 365 Business Premium, updates to Office 365 apps, more. CodePush became part of Visual Studio Mobile Center family.

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Office 365 had some interesting updates in the July, like making it easier to create professional-looking presentations and to identify and correct errors while editing documents.

In addition, Microsoft also intrdouced new Microsoft 365, along with the debut of several new business apps, and updates to Office apps.

Those who join late, "Microsoft 365 brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security to deliver a complete, intelligent solution. Microsoft Connections, Microsoft Listings and Microsoft Invoicing were introduced in preview for Office 365 Business Premium to help small-business owners run and grow their companies."

Several updates to Office apps were also introduced in July, including support for 3D design, a Read Aloud feature in Word, the ability to turn text into timelines in PowerPoint and enhancements to Microsoft StaffHub.

Turn text into visual timeline, as PowerPoint Designer now recognizes times, dates and topics on slides and intelligently redesigns content into professional-looking timelines. Just start with a list of dates, then select Design Ideas in Design tab and choose the layout from the set of suggestions.

3D in Office 365 apps
3D support in Office apps

With 3D support in Office apps, you can now easily insert a 3D object from Remix 3D catalog or from your desktop, change its perspective and use transitions like Morph in PowerPoint to create cinematic animations between slides to bring 3D objects in your presentations to life.

Read Aloud now moved to the Review tab, allows a Word document to be read back with simultaneous highlighting—from right within the workflow. This makes it easier to recognize and correct errors as you write, improving reading and editing accuracy for everyone, especially users with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

Read Aloud in Word
Read Aloud in Word

Microsoft also made updates to Outlook and StaffHub for Office 365 Commercial customers, and include:

Outlook desktop adds a new smarter To, that offer improved contact suggestions and profile pictures when composing an email. Additionally, conversation view in Outlook for iOS is redesigned and shows more discussion at once.

Redesigned conversation view in Outlook for iOS
Redesigned Conversation view

Enhancements to Microsoft StaffHub, an Office 365 app, that's designed to help firstline workers manage their workday--now allow team members to assign, manage and complete tasks from co-workers and management, as well as access company-wide announcements—making it easier to keep everyone in sync.

The new task view in StaffHub on an Android phone.

improved Microsoft StaffHub on Android and iOS
New Microsoft StaffHub

FastTrack for Dynamics 365, designed to help customers move to Dynamics 365 smoothly and confidently, Monday, adds new services to increase satisfaction, reduce time to usage and drive end-user adoption.

  • Adoption Services for Customer Engagement aims to drive usage, boost engagement and improve user experience;
  • Onboarding Service for Field Service helps customers understand the core value of the service to improve satisfaction and apply first-time fix rates;
  • and Onboarding Service for Project Service Automation allows users to manage sales, resources, delivery and billing for client-facing projects and to better understand the interaction of Dynamics 365 and Office 365 components with the service.

The public preview of Windows Analytics Device Health, is available Monday to all for try. With today's, launch, the Initial functionality will focus on device reliability to help you reduce OS crashes in your organization, as well as Windows Information Protection (WIP) App Learning to help you tune your WIP policies to ensure the apps your end-users need have appropriate access to work data, with additional functionality to be provided in the coming months to provide even more insights.

CodePush, that was crafted by Microsoft developers as a service for distributing Apache Cordova, React Native and Windows Mobile updates to applications in the wild, today, become a part of Visual Studio Mobile Center for developers.

The service has been used by mobile app developers to deploy thousands of releases to in-production apps — deploying quick bug fixes, feature improvements and content updates via the cloud.

CodePush recently became part of the Visual Studio Mobile Center family, and is now integrated with Mobile Center's dashboard to provide developers with a point-and-click interface for managing apps and deployments.