All participants can now open a new tab by default. Whoever opens the tab in a session, owns that tab. All cookies from the web page that you have opened will never leave your browser. This makes your sessions even more secure and private.
You can now see an avatar on the left side of each tab. That avatar indicates who is the owner of that specific tab.
Clicking the “+” icon in the top nav bar will open a small modal where you can either:
Enter a URL that you want to co-browse
Start screen sharing
Upload a file.
Now, it is no longer necessary to “ask for control” when opening or closing your tab(s), unless you choose to set up your company settings to not allow this. This makes collaborations much faster and smoother.
This means that multiple participants can now each log into their private accounts (email for example) in the tabs opened (and hence owned) by them in the same session. Screens can be shared by multiple participants simultaneously in their individual tabs and easily switched between them.
Not just this, but whenever your tab becomes active, you are in control of it immediately. Only with your permission can anyone interact with your tab(s).
In the top left corner you see an avatar of a Host. A Host is a participant who chooses which tab to make active, i.e., switch between different tabs.
For Surfly Spaces, when creating a Space you can define the eligible Host(s), so if the person who has created the Space is not around, you can still go ahead and start your session without them.
Similarly, if the current Host has to leave the session early, the Space will not deactivate. Instead, the Host can either assign a replacement, or a new Host will be assigned automatically from the previously defined eligible Hosts list.
Participants sidebar & admission
Besides switching between tabs, the Host has other privileges. The Host is also responsible for admitting people into the Space. This can be done from the “Participants” sidebar.
When clicking on the Host’s avatar in the top left hand corner, a sidebar will appear on the left side of the screen.
This sidebar contains an updated list of participants. The list showcases the number of participants, their names, and upon hover you can see the various actions available for you in regards to each specific participant.
The sidebar also contains the list of people in the Waiting Room. This allows the active Host to make sure that only the right participants will be able to attend the active session in this Space.
As mentioned prior, when your tab becomes active, you are immediately in control and can interact with it. In other words, once the Host switches to your tab, you are free to scroll, click and key in inputs around the content of your tab.
Nobody else can interact with your tab, not even the Host, unless the Host receives permission from you to do so.
To ask for control of the currently active tab, any participant can click on the cursor icon in the top right hand corner of the top bar. Then the Tab Owner of that tab receives a notification from which they can choose whether to grant the permission, or deny it.
The Host can ask for control of all your tabs, and as a Tab Owner, you can either grant the permissions to interact with your tabs, or choose to deny them.
Note that when granting control, you grant permission to all your tabs.
Good thing to know is that you can also revoke those permissions whenever you want to.
You can do this by clicking the cursor on the top panel.
Video chat and Text chat
Text chat is now conceptually part of video chat. This makes sense - both of your communication channels are now grouped together in the interface.
By hovering over the webcam icon, you can activate video chat, or send a quick text message.
There is also an icon that can maximize the chat in that same side panel, on the right.
At the moment this side panel contains text chat and the UI to turn on the video chat. Note that we are already working on adding video chat to that panel, in order to further optimize user experience.
Cursors and colors
Cursors and the drawing tool now get a new look with modern icons and an expanded color palette, so you can easily distinguish who is who when looking at the cursors and annotations from multiple participants in a Space.
All of these changes are already creating an amazing environment for you to collaborate, or provide exceptional service to your customers. But we are not stopping here, as we are already working on creating a more user-friendly and versatile video chat that will elevate your experience with Surfly sessions even more. Stay tuned!