Install Slack's New Android Beta For A Cleaner User Interface

Screenshot: David Murphy

I try not to Slack on my phone if I can avoid it—the notifications get to be a bit much—but if I did, I’d do it on Android, for sure. And I’d also make sure I was enrolled in the beta for Slack’s Android app, because the new UI enhancements Slack is testing make the app even easier to navigate.

This is one of those “see it to believe it” kinds of things, and I’ll show you the changes in a bit. Generally speaking, Slack is adding a tiny navigation bar to the bottom of the app that you gives you quick access to your list of Slack channels, DMs, mentions, and “You” section—where you can enable “do not disturb”/“away” modes, set a status, edit your profile, and so on.

Unifying these elements in a single navigational row is a lot easier to deal with than tapping through Slack’s otherwise tiny icons, including the three-bar hamburger in the upper-left corner of the regular version of its app. The beta is an elegant, easier experience, and I already love it within the first five minutes of using it.

The old look

Screenshot: David Murphy

The new look

Screenshot: David Murphy

How to swipe in new Slack

In addition to that lovely navigational bar on the bottom, Slack has also modified the app’s swipes a bit. Swipe to the right from within a channel, and you’ll pull up your grand list of channels, per usual. Swipe one more time, and you’ll get this new screen, rather than a direct list of your workspaces:

Screenshot: David Murphy

This next one’s a little confusing. If you’re in any of the primary navigational elements that aren’t a channel—Home, DMs, Mentions, or You—swiping left brings you back to whatever channel it was you were last looking at. If you’re already in a channel, swiping left does nothing.

How to join the Slack beta

If you’re on Android, simply pull up Google Play, search for Slack, and look for the “Join the Beta” link:

Screenshot: David Murphy

Once you join, give it a minute or so and refresh the Slack listing on Google Play. You’ll see an app update available. Install it, force-close Slack on your device (if it was open), and reopen it to enjoy the brand-new (in beta) UI.


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