January 3, 2017
Jabber has come a long way since Cisco acquired it in 2008, and early in December, the collaboration platform got another significant update. We’ve reached Jabber 11.8, and the applications continue to improve. The update touches almost every tool of the application and irons out some interface issues that had caused inefficiency in the past.
We won’t cover each and every minor tweak here, but we have compiled some of the most impactful, and some of our favorite, updates to Cisco Jabber. For a full description, read the Cisco Release Notes.
Jabber Updates in Version 11.8 for Windows
Chat and Presence
- Message Bubbles: As an aesthetic update, chat messages are now displayed as bubbles. These bubbles can be customized to alternate between left-aligned and right-aligned or all left-aligned.
- Persistent IM Notifications: When receiving an IM, a notification appears in the corner of the user’s screen. In previous versions, this notification would fade after a moment. Version 11.8 allows the user the option to keep these notifications present until the message is actively read. Subsequent messages would then stack on top of each other.
- Inline Images and File Transfers: File transfers in previous versions was a straightforward affair. Images dropped into a chat box would prompt the recipient to download the image and access the file. New settings allow a user to automatically download images sent and even display them within the chat window. This capability extends beyond images to other file types as well.
- Taskbar IM Notifications: Perhaps the most immediately obvious update to Jabber is the change in message bubbles. Now, the Jabber icon on your desktop taskbar will not only indicate that you have an unread message, but it will display how many messages you have received.
- Voice Message Forwarding: Voice messages can now be forwarded to your Jabber clients from the “Voice Messages” tab.
- Disable Phone Services: A user can now turn off their phone from the device selection menu.
- Display User Details: To assist in differentiating between contacts with the same name, a contact search will also display phone numbers in addition to the contact’s name.
- Accessibility Improvements: Error message detection, icon recognition, navigation, and speech response have all been improved.
- Improved @mentions: @mentions are now clearer. When hovering the mouse over the mention, the phone number will be displayed as well.
- Large Emoticons: Emoticons posted to the chat window without accompanying text in the same message will be displayed 300% larger.
- Compatibility: Jabber version 11.8 is compatible with Cisco Unity Connection 9.x and greater; Cisco Meeting Server 2.0 and later; and Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 and 7.9 along with XenApp 7.9, 7.8, and 7.6.
- Authenticate Passphrase Changes: Users can now authenticate passphrase changes to prevent others from accessing an unlocked machine and changing it themselves.
The Same Jabber, Only Better
Cisco Jabber is largely the same platform it was before. It just has a few more kinks ironed out as Cisco continues to improve upon the usability and user experience of the solution. Many of these changes are welcome. Jabber feels more like a chat application should with inline images, enhanced notifications, and better file sharing. In addition, its expanded compatibility with other Cisco solutions creates a more cohesive Cisco collaboration strategy. The mostly aesthetic nature of these updates is evidence of the quality of Jabber as is, and with each new version, it becomes that much better.
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