Slack’s Rebuilt Desktop App Uses Half the Memory Than Before

Posted on July 22, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Social with 22 Comments

Slack is rolling out a brand-new desktop app for its service today. The company is announcing the new rebuilt app, which looks exactly the same as before, but has lots of changes under the hood to make it faster than ever before.

Slack has gotten a lot of — wait for it — flak (sorry) for the performance and resource usage of its app, so it’s finally addressing those with the latest update. The new app, according to the company, loads 33% faster than before, and it’s so fast that Slack’s gotten rid of the loading messages.

Joining incoming calls on the app is also now 10x faster than before, but do keep in mind that these performance gains will differ depending on your actual network.

But more importantly, the new app uses 50% less memory than before. That’s obviously a massive gain in performance, considering the fact that Slack has been criticised in the past for using lots of memory, especially when a user has a lot of workspaces. An engineering deep-dive into the new app explains how Slack has managed to use less memory and introduce the performance gains, but the notable points include a focus on multi-workspace aware code, and a move to React.

Slack’s new app also introduces limited offline support, which lets you set your status, star items, and react to messages when you don’t have an internet connection.

The new app will be rolled out over the next two weeks, you can get it here. 

Tagged with

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (22)

22 responses to “Slack’s Rebuilt Desktop App Uses Half the Memory Than Before”

  1. dontbe evil

    still not fast and light enough, and I have an i7+16gb+nvme ssd

    but guys you love electron and win32 apps, right?

    • wright_is

      In reply to dontbe_evil:

      Electron... That's your problem, right there...

    • illuminated

      In reply to dontbe_evil:

      Electron is the resource-wasting hog. win32 is OK. UWP is not bad but with windows mobile dead the whole point of UWP is gone. The most annoying part of UWPs is their inability to access the file system. Were win32 apps can open any file UWP apps are limited to their sandbox. Sometimes restricted access is good but most of the time it is just too damn limiting. As a former windows mobile, phone, mobile again and then "other" mobile OS user I just get annoyed by UWP. It is the dead end that is still being worked on for no apparent reason.

  2. MikeGalos

    Half the memory and 10X performance? Man, that old program must have been garbage.

    • dontbe evil

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      still electron, still half garbage...people here can enjoy electron/win32 apps, I still prefer UWP as long will be possible

      • wright_is

        In reply to dontbe_evil:

        Electron has nothing to do with Win32, a tightly written Win32 application can be smaller and more efficient that UWP, just look at InSpectre from, the whole application fits in under 130KB, and around 90KB of that is the bloody icon! ;-)

        But that is hand-crafted assembler.

  3. illuminated

    Not only 10 times slower and only 5 times more memory-hungry than the crappiest native desktop app.

  4. ikjadoon

    If this is already present in Slack 4.0.0, it's actually a major improvement. I'm honestly surprised how fast it runs now.

    Props to Slack. This was a much-overdue update. Chats load faster, the UI loads faster, channels switch faster, etc. I've tested on an 15W i5-6200 U / 8 GB / Samsung 850 EVO SATA SSD, plus a 95W i5-8600K / 16 GB RAM / Samsung 960 EVO NVMe SSD: it's noticeable on both! Though, on the higher-end system, it might feel more like a network upgrade (wired 120 Mbps / 10 Mbps).

    React versus jQuery was a major win. Offline caching significantly reduces redundant network/API requests. And, thank God, you can pick up a call now without it ringing on your phone for 3 more seconds.

    • wright_is

      In reply to ikjadoon:, one of the biggest publishers of high quality IT content in the German language domain, has a big article (in German) about how they went through their whole web presence and remove jQuery - they say that it is dated and no longer relevant to modern browsers and just slows things down and clogs things up.

      I think they said they saved something like 80KB - 140KB per page impression, depending on what jQuery features were used.

  5. fersomecat57

    It is "differ" not "defer" in the sentence ending "performance gains will defer (differ) depending on your actual network." You really need to check you spellchecker.

    • wright_is

      In reply to fersomecat57:

      He's a writer, not a wizard, so he doesn't need a spellchecker, he needs to use a spelling checker. ;-) /pedant

      And defer is spelt correctly, that was a grammatical mistake.

    • ikjadoon

      An automated spellchecker would not catch differ vs defer because they're both spelled correctly, FWIW. This would've wanted just ordinary proofreading.

      Looking at the state of grammar on most of the internet, having Microsoft Office's grammar checker might be a dope feature.

  6. jgraebner

    As a quick FYI, the "you can get it here" link in the article is to the regional page for Great Britain. If you remove "/intl/en-gb" from the URL, I think that goes to the generic page with region detection.

  7. beatnixxx

    Think you meant:

    "keep in mind that these performance gains will *differ* depending on your actual network."

  8. safesax2002

    I'm not a hardcore Slack user but I'm using the version from the Microsoft Store and it runs pretty well.

  9. AW

    Don't see much if any difference on Slack 4.0 running on my X1 Yoga / Win10 laptop. Slack still takes around 30 seconds to open up. The network here is 2x 400M circuits for WAN.