Slack is reportedly testing a new interface as part of the latest beta for Android. According to Android Police, the changelog for the update does not mention this visual overhaul. However, the UI is said to have received a big change. One of the big changes coming to the app is an iOS-style bottom navigation bar. This will replace the existing slide-out contextual menu. The company is reportedly calling the new update as a “simpler, more organized Slack”. Also Read - Google to unify tools and messaging into one enterprise solution; to rival Microsoft Teams, Slack
The screenshots accompanying the article from Android Police shows the new navigation bar. It notes that this navigation bar is not pervasive throughout the entire app in the current test. There are four contextual menus as part of this update. The Home section is where all of your channel and DM navigation screen will appear. This is a much needed improvement over the current interface, where it lives in the slide-out menu. Also Read - Google Assistant can now read your WhatsApp, Slack and Telegram messages: Report
With Android’s new navigation gesture, the slide-out interface is not the most intuitive. Even on first-party apps, it does not always work as intended. As a result, the bottom navigation bar has become a real alternative. It is nice to see Slack joining the bandwagon as well. Inside Home, the starred channels reportedly get priority over unread channels. The option to start a DM has also been relocated and is now a floating action button present in the Home screen. Also Read - Microsoft bans employees from using free version of Slack: Report
The Home button is joined by DMs, Mentions and You as the three other categories. Android Police further notes that there is a plus sign on the same line as the “direct messages” category. However, it no longer does anything in the current beta release. The new DMs tab is being dubbed as redundant since DMs appear in the Home tab as well. The Mentions tab is a welcome addition, making it easier to jump to messages. Earlier, mentions were accessible via the Activity section.
From any navigation tab, sliding left takes you to your workspace. Here, you can view and select multiple Slack workspaces or make new workspaces. Sliding right takes you to your most recently opened conversation view. The new interface is also said to be missing some of the “advanced” settings in the old version of the app. The redesign seems very much like a work in progress and we might see Slack add new features with consequent beta release. Interested users can test the design with version v20.05.10.0-B of Slack for Android.