The Slack app that focuses on work collaboration has just received an important and useful update. Today, the company started rolling out a voice calling feature, the result of acquiring Screenhero startup a little over a year ago.
Seeing that Screenhero mainly dealt with video, voice, and screen-share, it makes sense that Slack would start advancing his features in this domain. Some users have already tested the updated app, and they reported it “works like a charm.”
Even though Slack has a long way to go before it becomes the be-all and end-all of voice communication – you can’t even leave a message – but the voice feature is a good stepping stone in the right direction.
Slack works in a very similar way to Skype, meaning that in order to chat by voice you need to click on an icon, which then activates a dialog box to initiate the call. To talk, you use a headset or the microphone built into your laptop.
The mobile Slack app doesn’t support the voice feature yet, and the same goes for the browser-based Web app. If you’re chatting via direct message, there’s a handy phone icon you can click on if you want to call them.
You can also start a group call with as many as 15 people at a time, but this feature only works in the premium version; turning a private chat into a group call also requires the premium. However, testers reviewed the voice calling to be rather limited and wonky.
Slack also allows you to call someone even if they appear to be offline; it will ring for 30 seconds or until the person answers. If someone has enabled the Do Not Disturb feature, they can’t be called, and you can’t leave a voice message, either.
Although Slack has a lot of work to do, it’s starting to look and feel like Google Voice. However, Google’s service has a plethora of telecommunications features, such as transcribing voicemails and recording a call – both of which are not available on Slack.
Users must keep in mind that this version of Slack is a beta feature, so things will improve as people start using it.
According to company reps, Slack wants to become a central hub of all business communication, so it will eventually add video chats and video calling, screen sharing and mobile support through the iOS and Android apps.
Image Source: The Verge