Slack has released a new update to their desktop app for Mac and Windows which brings about major performance improvements. The app should load up to 33% faster, connect to calls 10 times faster and consume 50% less memory than before. It will also provide a better offline experience by caching recently viewed conversations and channels and making them readable when network connectivity is interrupted.
As per Slack, the app is still based on Electron, the popular cross-platform framework that’s used for everything from Visual Studio Code to Skype. However, Slack has rewritten the user interface using React. This, along with numerous under-the-hood changes, have led to considerable performance improvements. Slack app will load 33% faster upon launch and calls will connect up to 10 times faster. Infact, the app is so fast now that there are no more loading messages.
For multiple workspace usage, Slack will consume 50% less memory by sharing resources between the workspaces, instead of creating a unique process for each. Slack is now rebuilt to be “multi-workspace aware” from the ground up.
The app will also have improved limited offline functionality. Recently viewed conversations will be readable even when network connectivity is spotty. Users can also star messages, react to them and even update their status when offline.
The update also brings other improvements like UI updates for the sidebar, a new paperclip icon to add attachments, redesigned autocomplete menu for @mentions and /commands and more.
Despite all these improvements, Slack still has not added the much awaited dark mode to the app. The company had announced last year that they were working on native desktop apps for Mac and Windows and we expected that dark mode would be a part of it. However, that has not been the case. Slack had added dark mode to their iOS and Android apps earlier this year. To get a dark theme for Slack on desktop, you still have to rely on other solutions like Sblack.
The new updates will be released as part of Slack version 4.0 for Mac and Windows. The update will be rolled out gradually over the next few weeks.
If you are technically savvy and want to see how Slack engineered this update, head over to Slack Engineering blog to read the nitty gritty.