[Update: Official] Slack is testing a cleaner UI with swipe gesture navigation in the latest Android beta
More people than ever are working from home these days and many businesses rely on Slack for communication. With tons of useful integrations with other services, and apps on nearly every platform, it’s a great choice. One of those platforms is Android and the Slack app recently received a pretty big UI update.
The latest update for the Slack beta app introduces a new bottom bar for navigation. The bar has four tabs: Home, DMs, Mentions, and You. The Home tab is where you see the list of channels, direct message conversations, and the compose button for new messages. DMs and Mentions is exactly what you would expect, and the You tab is where you can set your status and adjust preferences.
Along with the new UI is a brand new way to navigate with gestures. When you’re on any of the four tabs listed above, you can swipe from the right to go to your last active channel/message. Swiping from the left while in a channel/DM will go back to the last tab you were on. Swiping from the right on the tab pages will open a sidebar that shows your other workspaces and shortcuts to a channel browser, inviting members, and preferences. These gestures don’t need to be performed from the edge of the screen.
The gestures feel a little wonky at first, but it seems like this will be a nice update. Any UI that minimizes the interference of Android’s built-in Back gesture is a good thing. Nothing is more annoying than trying to slide open the hamburger menu and accidentally going Back. You can try this new UI in Slack version 20.05.10.0. Opt-in to the beta track in the Play Store if you haven’t already.
After showing up in the beta last week, Slack’s new UI with gesture navigation is now official for Android and iOS. The biggest change is, of course, the gestures and bottom tab bar, which we explained in the original post above. There’s more to the update, though.
The profile page, or the “You” tab, is much more useful now. Setting your status and snoozing your notifications is easy to access. The You tab basically puts all of the previous functionality in an interface that makes sense.
Slack has also brought the new “Compose” button from the desktop to the mobile apps. This makes it easy to start a new conversation or add to an existing one without having to find it first. Apps that work with Slack can be easily accessed now through the lightning bolt icon in the text entry box.
The update is rolling out right now in the Google Play Store. It may take a while to show up in the app, though.