Slack updates iOS and Android apps with new navigation features

The updates build on Slack's desktop revamp​ back in March, which aimed to make the user interface more intuitive and organized.

Slack on Wednesday released updated versions of its mobile apps for iOS and Android. The updates build on Slack's desktop revamp back in March, which aimed to make the user interface more intuitive and organized.

Highlights of the mobile update include new navigation icons at the bottom of the app, and a new compose button that lets users write, send and save messages more quickly. Slack also added swipe gestures to the mobile app. A swipe right lets users view workspaces and a left swipe lets them view the last channel or direct message they were in. 

"We recently launched a significant update to Slack's design on desktop," Slack said in a blog post. "In parallel with our efforts on desktop, we have been rethinking our mobile apps to make them easier to navigate and optimized for using Slack on the go: quickly catching up, responding to DMs and mentions, sending messages, and getting work done with the shortcuts feature. We'll continue to incorporate what we learn through research and our Champions network to make Slack even better for mobile; this redesign sets the stage for more improvements to come."

Slack has been billed as a future of work beneficiary amid work from home policies due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Prior to the outbreak, CEO Stewart Butterfield said companies were standardizing on Slack and shifting from email to channel-based messaging. In October Slack said that it had 12 million DAUs on its platform, while also citing "deep engagement" among those users as evidence of its significant market penetration and edge over rival Microsoft Teams. 

As work from home orders took effect in March, Slack said it had reached new user records for simultaneously connected users, defined as the number of people who are active on Slack at one time. Butterfield said simultaneously connected users increased from 10.5 million on March 16 to 12.5 million on March 25. Slack has not updated its DAU metric since October and continues to steer the conversation toward user engagement and this "simultaneously connected users" metric. 

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