HipChat is all about connecting teams in the office, but we also have you covered when you’re on the go. We have a new update for serious Android fans (and for not so serious fans). On the surface, you’ll notice we’ve pulled in material design. But we didn’t just slap on a new coat of paint, we re-architected the whole darn thing to be entirely native, and while we were at it, added stream compression (because we’re going for extra credit on this assignment).
Good-bye Web View, Hello Native
Being native provides benefits that you are going to notice right away. The app is now a lot smarter about your messages. We can let you know if your message failed and inform you if you’re still connecting. You’ll know if you’re looking at the latest set of messages or if some more need to load. Added bonus, the app respects your system preferences for fonts.
Now about that Material design
Of course, you’ll notice the bright colors, animations, and transitions you’ve come to expect from material design. We’ve moved a few things around to make it quicker and easier to get chatting. When you open the app, the new homescreen lists all your active rooms and 1-1 conversations. Notice the green button in the lower right? Tap that to easily find rooms or start new conversations with your teammates. If you’re done with a room or a chat, all you have to do is swipe it away to close it. The left drawer now contains your beautiful face (or your avatar of choice), account info and access to your preferences. Once you’re in a chat, the redesigned chat view now makes your files, links, and messages easier to read and more consistent. What else? Thanks to Lollipop’s heads-up notifications, it’s now easier to see when someone mentions you in a room or you have an incoming call.
Save that data for a rainy day
We’ve added two features that will help us play nice with your data plan. First, we will stop loading all images in the entire chat log. Phew. Second, we rolled out XEP-0138: Stream Compression support on our XMPP servers (that’s our fav flavor of compression). The new Android app takes full advantage of this new server feature. In our experiments, we’ve seen compression ratios from 3:1 to over 9:1 (awyeah). Keep an eye on your data usage from HipChat; we’d love to know if you see a reduction after this update.
We’re proud of our new Android upgrades, and this is only the beginning. We’ve got lots more planned for the rest of the year. Stay tuned.