woman holding iPad looking at Slack

A new look and improved functionality for the Slack iPad app

Introducing ways to help you stay productive, organised and connected from anywhere

Author: Andrew Dudley16th March 2022Illustration by Abbey Lossing

For many workers, 9-to-5 office life is a thing of the past. Now work can happen in all sorts of places. Instead of conference rooms and cubicles, you might find yourself taking a meeting from an airport lounge, or connecting with your team from a café.

Wherever productivity strikes, you need tools that are reliable, flexible and fully functional to keep doing your best work. That’s why today we’re releasing a major update to the Slack app for iPad. Among its chief enhancements: a powerful new interface. It brings the best of our mobile and desktop designs together while providing a unique and seamless Slack experience for the iPad, whether work takes you into the office or you’re on the go.

New two-column layout

First and foremost, the new iPad app features a redesigned two-column layout, more closely reflecting the layout of the desktop version.

new two column layout for slack ipad app

When you select a Slack channel or a direct message from the left-hand sidebar, you’ll see the content appear in the right-hand pane. This new layout makes it easier to multitask and stay productive, whether you’re producing a video shoot or planning out a product roadmap.

Akshay Bakshi, Group Product Manager, Slack

‘The iPad is a unique device that demands the power of a desktop experience with the simplicity of a mobile app. Our updated iPad app bridges this gap and allows users to stay productive, organised and connected to their digital HQ in a work-from-anywhere world.’

Akshay BakshiGroup Product Manager, Slack

Upgraded sidebar

The left-hand sidebar of the iPad app has been upgraded with new enhancements to help you keep all your channels organised and easy to navigate.

new two-column layout for slack ipad app

Here are some of the most notable sidebar improvements:

  • Sections are now collapsible, so you can hide groups of channels and focus on only the most relevant conversations
  • Section preferences will now be synced with the desktop version, keeping your sidebar consistent when you switch between devices
  • Usernames in direct messages now feature avatars, making them easier to scan
    Channel activity can now be sorted by recency, so you can more quickly review the latest updates from your team
  • With just a long press on a channel name, you can now access a context menu from which you can easily mute or leave the channel, copy a link to it or mark it as read

‘At HPE, we are committed to enhancing the way people live and work. The usability improvements made to the Slack iPad app really will improve how our team members at the edge collaborate more easily across our digital ecosystem.’

Greg EpsteinDirector of Communications Technology, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Improved accessibility

In an ongoing effort to make Slack more useful for everyone, the new iPad app boasts a number of accessibility improvements.

slack ipad app improvements for accessibility

For starters, the app now has improved labels for Apple VoiceOver screen-reading functionality. This helps users with visual impairments get more information about each conversation to decide its relevance. And Recent Activity sorting will let them find new conversations faster and skip extraneous navigation.

We’ve also turned the Workspace Switcher feature into a modal, making it more intuitive for VoiceOver users to toggle between different Slack workspaces. And we’ve increased our Dynamic Type support, giving users control over the size of elements like the Workspace Switcher and the sidebar for better readability.

A better experience for all kinds of work

The new Slack iPad app makes work easier, more pleasant and more productive for employees with all types of roles and responsibilities:

🧑🏻‍💻 For information workers, the iPad app can serve as a second screen, complementing the desktop experience. It can also help them stay connected from the sofa as their workday winds down (or ramps up).
💼 Executives will appreciate the iPad app’s new sidebar controls, letting them prioritise conversations and stay focused on the information that matters the most. And with the powerful, portable iPad app for Slack, leaders can stay in touch with their teams and get work done while on business trips, taking their digital HQ wherever they go.
🏃🏽‍♀️ Employees in the field, from insurance agents to plumbers to sales reps, can take advantage of the new iPad app’s larger screen layout and intuitive touch controls as they visit customers or collaborate on the go.
🛍 Retail workers will find it much easier to verify product details with colleagues, check inventory and answer customer questions, thanks to the iPad app’s improved interface and accessibility.

Carson Cook Engineer Systems Reliability T-Mobile

‘Slack has made the T-Mobile frontline iPad user experience smoother than butter. It’s now simpler to find exactly what we need to quickly assist a customer while having even more options available to us.’

Carson CookEngineer, Systems Reliability, T-Mobile

That’s certainly been the case for employees at telecom giant T-Mobile. The company’s thousands of retail employees regularly use iPads to assist customers, run workflows and exchange information with coworkers.

‘Slack has made sales and support tasks easier with their new, tabulated layout and a more configurable sidebar that looks as great as a brand new iPad’, says Carson Cook, engineer for systems reliability at T-Mobile. ‘I also appreciate that Slack is offering improved digital accessibility features so that working with customers is easier for everyone.’

Using the new Slack iPad app, T-Mobile’s retail workers are better equipped to tackle everyday tasks like staying on top of internal conversations and sharing details of phone plans with customers. And since many retail employees are already familiar with Slack on their desktops and phones, the similar design of the new iPad app can mean faster adoption and lower training costs.

Look out for more updates later this year

These updates mark a giant leap in usability for our customers – but they’re just the beginning. Later this year we’ll be releasing even more upgrades, including improved support for keyboard shortcuts and accessibility.

Want to try the new Slack iPad app for yourself? Download the latest version today.

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