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(Pocket-lint) - After testing it for a few weeks with an Android beta, and following on from a significant update to its desktop version, Slack has released an update to both its Android and iOS app, significantly redesigning much of the user experience. 

The core idea, according to Slack's blog post on the subject, is to make the app simpler to navigate, and to render it easier to access the things you're likely to be searching for, like direct messages to you and your own message drafts. 

The main change that this has resulted in, and the most significant visually, is the addition of a four-panel navigation bar at the bottom of the screen, letting users choose between Home, DMs, Mentions and You. 

Slack's view is that its previous navigation, while unique, wasn't what most people were used to from other popular apps, which motivated the change. 

A litany of tweaks

The Home option takes users to the list of conversations they're in, organised by whether you have unread tags or messages in them. DMs, meanwhile, is what it says on the tin, letting you access messages sent directly to you at a tap. 

Mentions is something close to a notifications tab, where you can quickly see who's mentioned you recently and in what messages, alongside any reactions that have been affixed to them or your own messages. 

Finally, the You tab lets users set their status and availability more easily, with the aim apparently being to encourage people to manage their settings more often and easily. 

A compose button is also added to make composing a new message quicker if you can't find the conversation in question, while it's also getting easier to add apps to Slack using the lightning bolt icon next to the typing bar in messages. 

There are a few more granular changes and bug fixes rolled into the update, of course, which should be available now - users will need the most up-to-date version of the app, which should roll out throughout this week. 

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Originally published on 14 May 2020.