Removal of remote screen control in Slack Calls

As we prepare to launch a faster, more reliable Slack calls experience, we’ll be removing the ability to share control of your screen during a call in early July 2019. Calls will still include screen sharing and the drawing tool.

There are a number of free and paid services offering remote screen control that are compatible with Slack. You can connect them to your workspace using their apps in the Slack App Directory.

 

How we came to our decision

Even though this functionality is used by some avid customers, remote screen control is only used on a fraction of Slack calls.  

  • It’s a complex feature that requires significant overhead to maintain.
  • Removing this feature has freed up time to build a new calls experience that’s faster and more reliable. It’ll be released as we turn remote screen control off.
  • We’re now able to work on new features for Slack calls, like an easier way to share emojis or short messages while on a call. We’ll continue to add new functionality, like the ability for hosts to draw while screen sharing, or the ability to share a single window rather than your whole desktop.  

Ultimately, we decided to shift the focus of our calls strategy to support basics of audio, video, and screen sharing — and point to our partners for more advanced functionality. In addition to improving the basic features of Slack calls, we are investing in deeper integrations with calls providers like Zoom. You can read more about our partnership with Zoom on the Slack blog.

 

Alternative options

Each of the services listed below has a Slack app you can use to start or join calls from Slack. To use one of these apps in Slack, you’ll need to sign up for the service directly (on either a free or paid plan) to complete installation.

Zoom

Zoom’s free plan offers screen sharing and remote screen control on both their desktop client and app. Customers on any paid Zoom plan can install the Zoom app for Slack to start or join a call from Slack. Once you're on a call, you can open Zoom and share control of your screen if you'd like.

New Zoom customers are eligible for 50% off the first month of a Zoom Pro monthly plan or 20% off a Zoom Pro annual plan. Please note that these special offers are only available to new customers purchasing a maximum of nine licenses on the Zoom website. This offer expires on August 1 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. 

 

BlueJeans

BlueJeans offers remote desktop control when screen sharing on all paid plans — as long as both participants are on the same version of the BlueJeans app or using the browser.

If you install the BlueJeans app for Slack, you can start and join BlueJeans calls from Slack, then launch BlueJeans to use remote screen control.

 

GoToMeeting

To use remote screen control with GoToMeeting, you’ll need to subscribe to a paid plan and download the GoToMeeting desktop app. To start GoToMeeting calls from Slack, you can install the GoToMeeting app.

 

Cisco Webex Meetings

Screen sharing and remote screen control are available with Premium or Enterprise plans. If you have a Cisco Webex Meetings account, you can install the Cisco Webex Meetings app to Slack to start and join calls.

 

Pair programming

If you and your team use remote screen control for pair programming, we recommend considering an alternative like UseTogether (requires purchasing their Pro plan or above), Tuple, or Atom.

UseTogether is offering an additional 15 days free on top of their standard 15-day trial, for a total of 30 days free. To redeem this offer, sign up for a UseTogether account using the Sign in with Slack option and the additional days will be added to your account.

Another option for pair programming is to use a collaborative code editing tool like Atom, accompanied by a Slack call for audio or to share one person's screen. Atom is free, open source, and cross-platform (available on Windows, MacOS, and Linux). 

Tuple offers a MacOS app built exclusively for pair programming. Their app is still in beta, but they'll grant access shortly after you request access by signing up on their waitlist. 

Have questions or need a hand? Let our Support team know and we'll get back to you soon.