GNOME just unveiled its latest version, GNOME 40, on March 24th, 2021. As revolutionary as the jump from V3.38 to V40 was, the improvements achieved through around 24,000 commits from around 822 contributors around the world are nothing less than spectacular.
From visual overhauls to performance improvements, it's one of the biggest updates GNOME has received since GNOME 3. Let's take a look at some of the best features and changes this version brings to the table.
1. New workspace view and new dock
In contrast to previous versions of GNOME, the latest version of GNOME 40 includes a horizontal workspace view and a workspace switch, with the dock anchored in a horizontal position at the bottom.
This new change is more user-friendly as GNOME automatically creates or removes workspaces based on the number of applications open. In addition, you can also drag and drop your applications across workspaces and GNOME intelligently rearranges them in a smart way.
The dock has also changed slightly from its previous version, so users can now have delimiters to separate preferred user applications and run running but not preferred applications.
2. A nice visual makeover
GNOME 40 looks wonderful right away. Rounded corners have been added to several components of the desktop, such as: B. the workspace switcher, the dock, the top bar and the application windows. The user interface looks modern and cleaner than previous iterations.
In addition to its beauty, GNOME 40 has many new transitions and animations that make the most of the new innovations. It's a nice mix of performance and aesthetics. The app window now includes icons to make it easier to identify the applications in the workspace view.
3. New gestures for the work area
With the introduction of the horizontal workspace layout, GNOME 40 takes it one step further with new workspace gestures for your touchpad, mouse, and keyboard. Thanks to the buttery smooth animation and careful gestures, navigating through multiple workspaces and apps just got so much easier.
The most notable are the three-finger swipes left and right to switch between open workspaces. This is accompanied by a three-finger swipe up to display the overview and the app launcher, which can just as easily be closed with a three-finger swipe down.
With the combination of Super + Alt + ↑ or ↓ to bring up or close the overview and Super + Alt + ← or → to switch the work area, you can still use all the wondrous gestures. With the mouse, you can use the scroll wheel instead of the arrow keys to achieve the same effect.
4. App updates and redesigns
GNOME has a host of new and exciting features in the latest version, but isn't afraid to update its built-in applications as well. Several applications like the files app, the weather app, the maps app and the web app received cosmetic changes and functional enhancements to achieve a better user experience.
The Files app has received notable changes, such as: B. a better and clearer settings dialog and improved time estimates for file processes. You can also sort files by creation date, view background images, and extract password-protected archives using the built-in archive extraction feature.
The weather app has been completely redesigned to provide more information in a simple yet modern user interface. Two main views are embedded: one for an hourly forecast for the next 48 hours and one for a daily forecast for the next 10 days. In addition, it has been made more mobile as it supports resizing to narrower sizes.
Similar to the weather app, the map app also received some important redesigns of its space bubbles and information popups. The name of the place is also displayed in the user's language if it is present in the OpenStreetMap data. Even in the latest update, the application has become more adaptable for mobile and narrow devices.
Epiphany or the web application now has a more sophisticated tab design and new features such as unread notification indicators and pinned tabs. In the latest version, some shortcomings from the previous design have been addressed. Search suggestions can be configured so that results are also displayed directly from Google.
5. Adding a Compose key
The Compose key is a great example of small features that can have a big impact on the user experience. Although disabled by default, it can now be enabled via Settings> Keyboard. All you need to do is set up a key bond to trigger the Compose key. The user interface has also been improved and the build sequences are shown in real time as you type.
This is an extremely useful feature when you want to enter special characters like ©, ™, ½ or ° C more intuitively without having to copy them every time you have to use them.
The Wi-Fi interface in the Settings app has been redesigned to put major Wi-Fi networks at the top of the list and for a better layout in general. Browse and find keyboard shortcuts in the Settings app.
The input source settings have been moved from Region & Language to Keyboard. This makes it easy to find and groups all keyboard settings in one place.
It's time to upgrade to GNOME 40
The latest version of the software contains a number of changes with which the featured app banners are displayed in a modern layout and scroll through automatically. Information about the source of the installed applications is now also displayed. In addition, the update logic has been further optimized in order to achieve a reduced number of notifications.
Obviously, GNOME 40 is a refreshing experience for all GNOME enthusiasts out there. Although not generally available on many distributions after launch, GNOME 40 is expected to soon be available on the major distributions that offer the GNOME desktop.
If you're already excited, you can try Fedora 34 Beta, GNOME OS Nightly, or openSUSE which already includes GNOME 40. Visit gnome.org for more information.
The Fedora 34 Beta is out now, complete with Gnome 40
You can now download and use the Fedora beta along with the shiny new GNOME 40 update.
About the author
(1 article published)
By Nitin Ranganath
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