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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Microsoft is working to allow smaller meetings to take place in its Together Mode, which uses artificial intelligence to put multiple users in the same virtual space.


Launched last year during the peak of the global health crisis, Together Mode for meetings uses AI to place everyone on a call in a shared room-like environment, like a coffee shop or an auditorium, rather than the patchwork gallery view that typically comprises large Teams meetings.

The idea behind the feature is to better replicate real face-to-face meetings by taking people out of their home environments and custom backgrounds, thereby making it easier to pick up on facial expressions, body language, and other non-verbal cues.

Together Mode can accommodate up to 49 people at a time, and currently only becomes available when at least five people have joined the meeting. Soon, however, Microsoft is making it so that the feature can be used with just two people.

Support for smaller gatherings in Together Mode is currently limited to the developer Beta preview, but will soon be available for all. If you want to try accessing the preview, click the ellipsis next to your profile picture, select About, then tick Developer Preview. If the option doesn't appear, it may be because of the way your work account is set up.

Article Link: Microsoft Teams' Together Mode to Gain Support for Smaller Groups
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macrumors member
May 23, 2021
Wow.. I like it.. Together Mode.. I pretty sure Apple's FaceTime Team is working hard to add in more features like this in the near future updates


macrumors 68000
Sep 9, 2020
My immediate reaction is to wonder why all the seats are pale grey?

At least three members seem to disappear against that colour of background - at least, their clothing does. (But not in the naked sense. :) )

We keep getting told how many colours there are (whether 16.8 million or billions!) so can't be a shortage of colours.

Should the seat colours be consistent (at least, within a company)? Each person assigned the same colour in every meeting.

Should seat colours adapt to clothing? Hair? Skin?

Should seat colours be allowed to represent something - imagine political party in a debate, or department within a company - or is that a step too far?

I don't know - but the all-the-same that is shown is not appealing.
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Jun 1, 2021
It looks like the muppets.
9 or 1+8 Continuous presence (tic tac toe, if needed one larger square for speaker) is much more normal feel conference. Showing each person in their space at their desk, normal. If too many are in the conf go with voice switched continuous presence. The last speakers fill the squares.
go with Lecture mode to put one person unswitchably into a big pane until lecture mode off. Listeners see that person only, lecturer gets tic tac toe.

If too unruly have an operator run the conf moving panes manually, switching between modes and layouts.

that is industry norm, tried and tested. The muppets view not so much.


macrumors G3
Dec 7, 2014
MSFT Teams is a horrific product. While this feature may appeal to some the lack of basic features and stability, especially on a Mac is pathetic.

In terms of features and stability, Teams seems to work quite well on my Mac.

It's… some of the UI decisions that get me. It really feels like a web app (because it basically is), and like few of its developers understand all the nice things you can do with a GUI app.

Just off the top of my head:

  • if you scroll up in message history, instead of fetching from a local cache, it keep asynchronously downloading more messages from the server (and sometimes, very slowly at that). Imagine if your mail client, when scrolling down your inbox, needed to keep looking for more messages, rather than keeping them all local. This makes it very annoying to scroll back to "hey, what did we talk about the other day?" scrub scrub scrub wait wait wait ugh. At least let me configure this.
  • it took them a long time but you can finally pop out a single conversation into its own window. But for some reason, they decided to keep this in sync. So don't think you can scroll up there to look something old up, then in the regular window stay at the bottom. As soon as something new happens, both windows will scroll to the bottom. What?
  • whoever implemented viewing images hasn't yet had this insight of multiple windows. The image opens within the main window. There's no resizing it unless you also resize the regular window. There's no popup. Why wouldn't you open attachment previews in a separate window?
  • why are menu items like Settings in a weird "…" menu when the menu bar is right there? (Firefox also does this. Worse, it puts some items in both a hamburger menu and the regular menu bar. Why?)

But things like conversations, video calls, screen sharing, file transfer, etc. do work quite well.

Still, it's frustrating. A decade and a half, Adium wasn't great at file transfer and didn't do video calls or screen sharing. But its usability, customization and just joy of using it were vastly superior.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2006
Brighton, UK
Pity they can't concentrate on getting the thing to work properly on a Mac. like with multiple monitors, using the notifications system, restarts.

But most of all being reliable.

Typical Microsoft "just good enough" approach.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2012
There’s 12-18 of us and I use the Together mode. It’s not great but practical. It slowly encourages everyone to get better lighting set ups and decent cams. ;)
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macrumors 65816
Sep 14, 2012
MSFT Teams is a horrific product. While this feature may appeal to some the lack of basic features and stability, especially on a Mac is pathetic.
Never had an issue on macOS. What issues are you facing? 'horrific product' is strong.


macrumors regular
Mar 27, 2012
Together mode is terrible and weird. The stock/promo photo of the feature doesn’t show the typical use. Every time I’ve used the feature, different people are sitting at different angles/distances from their cameras, so the whole effect comes off as rather ill-proportioned and awkward.

Le Big Mac

macrumors 68030
Jan 7, 2003
Washington, DC
MSFT Teams is a horrific product. While this feature may appeal to some the lack of basic features and stability, especially on a Mac is pathetic.
I haven't used Teams on a PC (blocked at work), but the Mac version seems like crap - like missing a lot of functionality that I would expect any of these apps to have. Is the Mac version crippled or is even the PC version trash?

Anyway, I'm assuming this won't be coming to the Mac version anyway . . . which makes me wonder why it's on MacRumors.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2017
Agree! Mac experience is awful.

The Windows experience isn’t much better. It’s slower than dirt, crashes more often than it should and lacks basic features like being able to engage in maximized full screen sharing sessions where the presenter’s screen is all you see. It’s bloated, badly written hot garbage juice.
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