If you’ve been following our recent product announcements, you know how excited we are to be rolling out our new platform, Highfive 2.0.
Highfive 2.0 brings a multitude of improvements, all of which are aimed at one simple goal: to improve the experience of everyday Highfive users.
Some of the immediate benefits we're excited to share with you include:
- 50-way meetings. The efficiency gains of WebRTC on both the apps and the server means that we can support up to 50 simultaneous participants in a meeting. Note that the 50-way limit is only available with certain subscription plans.
- Reduced CPU usage, leading to longer battery life, especially on mobile. This is one of the biggest pieces of feedback we received from customers like you, and we decided early on in the Highfive 2.0 effort that it had to be a focus. Average CPU usage on Windows and Mac computers has improved 50%-65% versus Highfive 1.0. Highfive on iOS now uses hardware video encoding for an improvement of over 75%.
- Smoother video under many conditions. WebRTC uses an improved rendering technology on both Mac and Windows that means video frames are rendered more consistently and smoothly. You will especially notice this on Highfive devices.
- Better compatibility with restrictive networks. Highfive no longer requires access to TCP port 5005, and can now connect without UDP port 5005. See the Help Center for recommendations for network configuration.
- Reduced frequency of dropped connections while in Highfive meetings. While we aren't able to address every source of unexpected disconnects, the new platform significantly reduces them for most users.
- Reduced frequency of device crashes. Far fewer purple screens of death in the middle of meetings!
- Improved stability of the desktop app. Since the app is fundamentally rewritten on top of WebRTC, the components that could cause the infamous "update loop" are now completely gone. Joining a Highfive meeting should now work more reliably.
- Faster switching of videos when someone new starts speaking in your Highfive meetings.
- Faster startup of the desktop app.
- Fixes to scaling on high-DPI displays in Windows 8 and up. The app is now correctly scaled on all Windows computers, without those pesky zoom in and out buttons in the upper left corner.
- Usability improvements on iOS including pinch-to-zoom video and a common interstitial view that allows the user to select a dial-in number before entering any Highfive meeting, even when starting it from within the app.
While we've been testing and rolling out the new platform, we've also been busy working on some new features on the new platform, which you'll see immediately:
- Dial-out allows you to use your Highfive Dolby Conference Phone to place telephone calls, with unlimited international call minutes, in addition to Highfive video calls. Access to this feature is limited to certain subscription plans. Contact your Highfive Account Executive to get upgraded to this valuable feature today.
- Meeting Scheduling right in the desktop app alleviates a leading source of confusion for new users of Highfive, and makes using Highfive more convenient even for seasoned users.
- Screen sharing monitor selection is now standard when using Highfive with multiple displays.
Now that we’re rolling out Highfive 2.0 to all of our valued customers, our engineering team is able to spend more of their time on new feature development. While we're still mostly focused on improving the reliability and quality of the product, the new platform allows us to move faster than before on some long-awaited features. We've got a lot of different projects going, and we're ready to talk about a select few you can expect soon:
- Meetings in the browser, without software downloads, should be coming later in 2017. We are already testing this internally with advance builds of Google Chrome, and look to add Firefox and Microsoft Edge soon after. One important side-effect: Linux users will finally have a supported experience!
- Window selection when screen sharing will enable many often-requested use cases, such as showing only a presentation without sharing your whole desktop.
We have many more improvements than space to talk about here. Want to know more? Take a look at our release notes for all recent releases that start with 2.x. If you have been compromising on or working around a long-standing issue with Highfive 1.0, we would recommend you see if it is still an issue in Highfive 2.0 and to let us know.
Note that the Highfive Mac and Windows apps will still show up as version 1.x; this is because Highfive uses a universal installer that supports both 1.x and 2.x. Soon we'll be deprecating the 1.x features and components (which will also significantly reduce the download package size) and you'll see all clients move to 2.x.
Finally, a message to all of our administrators: you and your users have been waiting for these improvements for a long time, and we thank you for your patience. We’ve gotten great feedback from our beta customers on Highfive with WebRTC, and have measured numerous improvements in our reliability metrics, so we’re confident you’ll notice improvements too. And while we expect improvement on the whole for your users, as with any change of this magnitude, we expect individuals may have questions, new feedback, or may even experience unique technical issues. Should any of these come to you, we have added extra resources to our support team to handle them during this transition period. So please do reach out by clicking the "Get Help" button in the app or by contacting us with our support contact form.