Session Release Roundup #16: Trio of Changes

Session Release Roundup #16: Trio of Changes

October 18, 2022 / Kee Jefferys

This update is absolutely jam-packed! We’ve got a lot to cover — let’s get into it

It hasn’t been that long since we last spoke, but we’ve already got another update packed with new features and some big changes. 

This time around the star of the show is Communities and Groups. ‘But we already had groups, didn’t we?’ — well, yes. But we’re changing the names of open groups and closed groups to Communities and Groups respectively. 

This terminology will be way easier for the average person to understand, and it’s a part of an ongoing initiative to make Session more accessible and usable for the less-techy among us. As a part of that initiative, we’ve also packed a complete overhaul of the app and conversation settings menus in Session. 

And on a more 💅glamorous💅note, you can now dress Session up in custom themes! 

Treble-changes for Session

Open Groups are now Communities (All platforms)

Open Groups will now be referred to as communities everywhere in the app. We think Communities is a much friendlier and more apt description — that’s what they are, after all! The actual servers—SOGS—won’t be changing their name for now, but keep an eye out for any changes in the future. 

Closed Groups are now Groups (All platforms)

Much like the change with Open Groups, this just…makes sense. It’s simpler, clearer, and easier to understand — win, win, win. 

Re-designed app settings (All platforms) 

Settings are an important part of making things private and usable. Everyone wants their app to work the way they…well, want it to work. Over the last 3 years, we’ve added lots of new features, toggles, and switches — and it was all getting a bit…messy. The new app settings are much easier to understand.

Re-designed conversation settings (All platforms) 

Behold: Easily understandable setting descriptions. Much like Session’s app settings, the conversation settings needed some work. Some things have moved around or changed slightly — so we encourage you to take a look around and see the sights!

Added custom themes (All platforms)

Ahh, Session green. The cause of much controversy over the years. Kee, please change the green. It’s ugly, they said. Well, I like the green, but that’s OK — now you can change Session to your personal favourite colour! Theming is great for those of us who want to make our app as ✨aesthetic✨ as possible, but it’s also a huge win for accessibility — something we’re always trying to improve on.

Choo, choo! All aboard the Session train

We’re currently working on an onboarding overhaul. Session is a very special kind of messaging app, but that can be a bit intimidating for new users. The average messaging app enjoyer doesn’t know what a private key is, hasn’t heard the term ‘decentralisation’ before, and has definitely never used a recovery phrase before. So…Session’s onboarding can be a bit daunting. 

We’re currently designing an A/B testing a number of different ways that we can improve the Session onboarding experience so that people feel like they’re being greeted with a friendly smile, not an angry drill sergeant. 

We are also going to be working on a technical redesign of (the newly-named) groups — it’s likely to be a lot of work, but it’ll offer some much-needed upgrades to group reliability and functionality. 

Until next time, 

Kee

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