As our internal collaboration platform, Hipchat is special to the AP team. It's a great service for keeping track of assignments, chatting with team members, and sharing info, but until now the mobile app has been just a little behind the curve on design.

Today it looks like that's changing, as Hipchat beta received an update with material design.

The new Hipchat beta has native rendering for messages and will now honor your system's font size settings, but of course the overarching design is the real story here. Here's a look:

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The "lobby" has been transformed into a "chats" screen, with people and rooms in the same view. There's also a revised navigation drawer, a FAB that initiates a new chat (with the material "magnetic to touch" animation), and a swipe gesture that allows users to leave a room or private chat.

The main chat view, as seen above, is divided into four tabs - the chat, list of participants, shared files, and shared links. The chat itself has been greatly streamlined, ditching many of the dividers and blocks of color seen in Hipchat's stable version.

The new streamlined chat takes some getting used to - users accustomed to the dividers between messages may be initially confused. In all honesty the layout can be a little hard to read, but some extra spacing between messages would take care of that. On the whole the new design is a welcome and refreshing change, and this writer hopes to see it in the stable channel soon.