GNOME 41 was released with several new features including improvements in apps, design changes, and so on.
Version 40 was a major release for the GNOME Project and revamped the activity map that has defined GNOME for a decade. GNOME 41 builds on these changes to improve the free desktop for new and experienced users alike. Here are some of the great additions.
An updated GNOME software
One of the changes that most users are likely to encounter is the revamped GNOME software. The new version has a livelier landing page with updated app categories.
Each app page offers a more helpful and enticing presentation. Screen shots are paramount, and details about each program are provided with descriptions to help newbies understand what terms such as “proprietary” and various licenses mean.
More experienced users will be delighted when the focus is on download sizes and whether an app can be scaled to fit both desktop and mobile devices.
The status menu now allows you to optimize the power consumption of your computer. You can activate Energy saver to relieve your battery, to control how much power you draw from the grid during peak times. Or activate the Balanced Profile when you're ready to activate an app or game that needs the extra juice.
By default, GNOME 41 uses low power on battery power, but apps have the option of requesting a specific power profile. You can also change your settings manually.
New options in the system settings
Various settings that you previously installed to customize the GNOME Tweak Tool have found their way into System Preferences. You can find them under a new one multitasking -Panel that allows you to disable the hot corner at the top left, adjust whether you can resize windows by dragging them to the side, or set a predetermined number of virtual workspaces.
System settings also includes a Cellular Section. It only appears on devices with the necessary hardware, but if you're using GNOME on a phone or cellular-enabled laptop, for example, you can now manage cellular networks as you would on a Wi-Fi network.
Improvements in apps
As usual, many apps also receive a few new features at the same time as the version bump. Here are some of the highlights of this iteration:
Calendar now supports the import of ICS files. A nice side benefit of this addition is that you can now set the calendar as your default calendar app.
Calls, the app for making voice calls from a GNOME powered device, now allows adding SIP accounts and making VoIP calls.
Connections is a new app for connecting to remote desktops. You can open multiple connections at the same time and switch between them. Anyone who is already familiar with GNOME boxes may feel right at home.
The GNOME file manager now offers the possibility to create encrypted ZIP folders. You can find this if you choose compress in the context menu of the right mouse button. A password-protected archive is not a bad way to send sensitive information to someone if you are not using a private form of communication.
Music doesn't get any new features, but it has an updated look.
Would you like to try GNOME 41?
You can try out GNOME 41 right away by downloading the GNOME OS ISO. Note that GNOME OS is not intended for everyday use, so you'll probably want to use it in a virtual machine like GNOME Boxes to take a look.
Actually using GNOME 41 takes a little longer. As usual, rolling release distributions like Arch Linux will see it first. Fedora Linux 35 will again be a go-to place for people who want a relatively pure GNOME experience on a more stable basis. Instead, Ubuntu 21.10 ships with a modified version of GNOME 40, so anyone using Canonical's distribution will have to wait over six months before receiving these updates in a supported manner.
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About the author
(324 published articles)
Bertel is a digital minimalist who writes from a laptop with physical privacy switches and an operating system recommended by the Free Software Foundation. He values ethics over functions and helps others take control of their digital lives.
From Bertel King
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