Welcome to our inaugural What's New on Branch post! While we have kept change logs before (accessible in the Changelog section of the sidebar), this is the first time we have written a post about new features we've added this week - and what a week it has been, because we are excited to share the many big and exciting updates to Branch this week.

Our new desktop application is here!

Our desktop app has been in the making for a while. We have been carefully testing the desktop app internally to make sure that it will provide the same Branch experience you know, but in a more convenient, compact, and efficient package. We are now pleased to announce that our desktop app is now available starting today for Mac users, including Intel Macs and Macs with Apple Silicon. You can download the app from our website.

We intend to provide a version of the desktop app for Windows and Linux users soon, so keep an eye out for when they release.

Roles and permissions

Before today, there were only two levels of access to a branch: members, who could do anything, and guests, who could not change anything but could move around the branch and interact with things. This week, as many of our users have requested, you can finally control what a user can do in your branch. You can set up roles with permissions for what a user can do in your branch, and assign them to the users in your branch:

Permissions galore!

Labels

Another requested feature was the ability to add labels to rooms. Simply open up the builder mode to add a label anywhere you want, whether you want to mark what a room is used for, add inspirational messages, or just to spruce up your branch a little!

Performance improvements

We kept the possibly the most exciting thing we have to share with you this week for last: this week, we rolled out a series of performance improvements to the app. Everything from logging onto a branch to moving around and talking in it just got even faster and more considerate on your computer.

Were you tired of having to wait on your branch to load up when nobody was on it for a while? Not anymore! We've made the process of loading branches that were idle for a while more than 10x as fast in most cases. Of course, if Branch is too busy, you may still have to wait a while - however, wait times should be significantly reduced for most people logging onto Branch.

We also made major strides in optimizing our voice and video chat performance, further bringing down the resource usage of Branch in all scenarios. We know how important it is for your laptop to stay as quiet as possible so you can focus on your work.