May update: Efficient collaboration

Posted on: May 15, 2018 by Philipp Bohn

For Circuit, agile development means monthly releases based on customer and user feedback. With our most recent update over the past weekend, we added a few technical and design capabilities to make your collaboration experience even more efficient and secure.

User experience enhancements

Improved navigation for conversation functions: “One View” is one of our foundational design principles for Circuit. On a strategic product level, this means Circuit provides one view for collaboration, bringing voice, video, messaging, screen sharing and files into one app. On the application level, we want to provide one view for conversations and associated capabilities as well: We have consolidated selectors for general functions like notifications, conversations, favorites and upcoming meetings on the left side panel. You can now toggle more conveniently between the various views.

Privacy mode for screen sharing: Your conversation stream on the left side is probably very busy and you want to make sure confidential and personal messages are hidden from view when sharing your screen. You can now collapse the conversation selector from any global function view on the left side (notifications, conversations, favorites, upcoming meetings) by clicking the same icon again.

Unread notification for favorites: You can now see unread indicators for each of your favorite conversations in the favorite panel.

Note: To activate these capabilities, please go to the settings menu, then go to Circuit Labs.

Delayed screen sharing: To a very large extent, the quality of Circuit screen share sessions relies on the network quality and bandwidth available to participants. When others see the screen share with a huge delay, Circuit now warns the presenter with a desktop notification. You can then ask participants to move to an area with better network coverage, deactivate VPN for the session, or take any other corrective measure to improve the network situation.

Telephone call duration: Circuit‘s telephony call journal now displays the duration of a call in addition to the time it took place. Note this is specifically relevant for PBX calls through our Circuit telephony connectors. For Circuit webRTC calls, session metadata such as participants or duration has always been available and is unchanged with the current update.

Pasting phone numbers with DTMF into call field: This one is also for telephony power users. You can now paste numbers with pauses and DTMF digits into the call field so they can be used to dial directly into conferencing sessions, e.g. +4989700711333,791937#.

Improved conversation handling when the last moderator leaves a conversation: What to do when the last moderator leaves without handing over to other colleagues? After all, only moderators can add or remove participants or start a voice, video and screen share session. Now, the first user who opens a conversation with no active moderator is offered to take moderation for that conversation.

Notable issues resolved

First call of the day fails: Due to a bug in Chromium — an underlying open source technology we use for Circuit — users weren‘t able to start audio conferences on first try after their PC was rebooted. We have implemented a workaround for Chromium that does a webRTC stack warm-up on startup (if you want to know the technical details), and makes sure everything gets initialized correctly. Please note that this workaround can cause minimal delays in a startup, but once connected should work without incident.

As always, thank you for collaborating with Circuit and let us know what you think about our most recent update, particularly our interface design changes.

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About Philipp Bohn

VP Circuit at Unify and CEO of blueKiwi
Philipp is VP Circuit and CEO of blueKiwi Software at Atos. In previous roles at Unify, he worked as Chief of Staff and in strategy planning. As an industry analyst at Berlecon Research, his focus has been on enterprise communication technology and digital media. Philipp holds a degree in business administration from University of Mannheim.

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