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Slack is looking for richer apps to fend off Microsoft teams



Slack has been relying on third party apps on their platform for years. In recent months, however, the company has really focused on expanding its chat app. Earlier this year, Slack closed the gap between email and instant messaging and simplified service for Microsoft's Office 365 apps. In addition, Slack has worked with Google, Zoom and other major third-party developers to more tightly integrate apps into Slack. Today, at the Slack Spec conference in San Francisco, the company opens its doors for even closer integration of apps, making it easier for Slack users to find apps.

There are currently more than 1

,800 apps available for Slack, but these can often be difficult to find. Slack updates the way apps are displayed in an Art Store interface. These include apps that are available at a particular workstation and ways to find others. Slack also adds a permanent action menu in the sidebar with quick app actions. These are usually displayed as message actions today, but they also appear in channels to make it easier to use apps. A good example is having an IT help desk channel in Slack and using an action to report a broken laptop or a security check directly in Slack.


A new channel action for Slack apps.

Slack is also The apps are becoming more functional, interactive and ultimately user-friendly. Each app now has the ability to create a new home page UI that allows developers to showcase the various features and actions available. Right now, apps work more like bots that send you information, and this interface is more like a typical web app.

Google Calendar will be one of the first to launch a launch tab. This can display a complete schedule for the current day or even for future days. That way, you can check your calendar without having to leave Slack, and you can even accept or decline meetings and join calls.

Apps can also call Windows (or "modals") as developers to call them), which are located above Slack's main interface so they can capture data in a form or view results and interactive content. This should significantly improve the functionality of bots in Slack and allow developers to display various screens to send and receive information.



Slack apps can now contain windows for data.

At the heart of all these developer-focused announcements, it's clear Slack makes it easy to use enterprise software without having to change windows or use other apps. For the company, this is a natural way to compete with Microsoft's offerings with the Office 365 service and Microsoft teams. Slack can not offer all these apps and services on its own. Instead, it will be partners and integrators as far as developers want it.

"We can focus on turning this native feature into a great experience in Slack features. But the other 98 percent of the IT spend of businesses outside of Slack brings so much value," explains Andy Pflaum , Director of Slack Platform, in an interview with The Verge . "Being able to connect to this … along with the key actions that users use to capture and distribute this information in Slack, is a real focus for us."

The new Modal / Windows features are Available now and the updated app launcher, menu actions, and app start page features should be available in the coming months. So you should expect slack apps to really change over the course of 2020.

Slack is already beating Microsoft in the integration of applications, even if Microsoft teams has exceeded the number of active users. Keeping developers entertained is the key to keeping slack users happy and relying on the chat service. When you integrate as much as you can into Slack, companies are advised to use these cost and time-saving enhancements and may avoid switching to Microsoft teams. Slack may not want to be worried about Microsoft's aggressive team push, but competition between them is likely to intensify over the course of 2020 and beyond.


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