GNOME 3.4, the next major update of the GNOME 3 desktop environment, has just been released today, March 28th, by the hard working people behind the GNOME Project.
GNOME 3.4 comes after another six months of development, bringing lots of improvements in various areas, as well as new features and updated translations.
The major goals for GNOME 3.4 was to implement Application menus and Actions, to improve the Wacom and Network panels, to re-add the High Contrast and HighContrastInverse accessibility themes, ability to change brightness and contrast as you like, add GNOME Shell Keyring and Zoom Options dialogs, and to improve the Documents app.
GNOME Boxes is a new app that is now part of the GNOME 3.4 desktop environment, allowing users to access other computer systems or virtual images. Highlights of GNOME 3.4: Documents:
· Removed sidebar (portrait mode);
· Added new search interface;
· Added collections;
· Support for printing documents;
· Added app menu.
|The Documents app in GNOME 3.4|
· Added new sidebar and contact pane design;
· Inline editing support;
· Inline linking suggestions support;
· Added a new Link dialog;
· Added app menu;
· Added Just Type functionality;
· Added a new avatar selector (with support for cropping).
|The Contacts app in GNOME 3.4|
· Allows to view and access remote machines;
· Allows to view and access remote virtual machines;
· Allows to view and access local virtual machines;
· Create virtual machines with a few clicks;
· Option of fully automated installations for Fedora Linux, Windows 7 and Windows XP;
· Ability to delete, publish and upload virtual machines;
· Ability to connect to remote displays using VNC or SPICE.
|The Boxes app in GNOME 3.4|
· Support for WebKitGTK+ 1.8.
· New toolbar design;
· Added app menu;
· "Super menu" added;
· Revamped History, which is now faster and supports infinite history.
|The Epiphany web browser in GNOME 3.4|
· Support for Windows Live chat in Online Accounts;
· Added a brand-new audio/video call user interface;
· Partially redesigned accounts dialog (the technical details of the account are not hidden in their own dialog);
· GNOME Contacts app is now used to display contacts' details and to link contacts together.
|Empathy: Video Calling in GNOME 3.4|
· The Wacom settings were greatly improved;
· Magnifier receives graphical configuration interface;
· Plugging of external monitors and docking stations are now better handled;
· Revamped Power and Network panels;
· Added support for volume keys on USB headsets and speakers;
· "System Info" panel has been renamed to "Details";
· "Screen" panel has been renamed to "Brightness and Lock". GTK+:
· The treeview accessibility was improved;
· Added a new spin button design;
· Added a new color chooser;
· Support for kinetic scrolling in scrolled windows;
· Support for smooth scrolling. Core Experience:
· Improved document search;
· Reintroduced Wanda the Fish;
· GNOME Shell improvements;
· Better screen recorder;
· New window captions and labels;
· Fixed lots of interaction bugs;
· Keyboard navigation support;
· Implemented App menus;
· Refinements and updates to the visual theme.
|The Application Menus / Actions in GNOME 3.4|
|The Documents Search in GNOME 3.4|
Among other features of GNOME 3.4 we can mention that Seahorse (Passwords and Keys) received and updated design, Evolution's email accounts can now be reordered, and the metadata viewer sidebar has returned to the Eye of GNOME image viewer.
Moreover, the Sound Juicer's metadata fetching functionality was rewritten to work with multi-disc albums, again, Gedit received a few improvements, and the default background has been updated to be dynamic, becoming brighter and more radiant during the day, and dark and shadowy in the evening.
|The New Animated Background in GNOME 3.4|
The upcoming Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) operating system will include parts of the newly released GNOME 3.4 desktop environment.
However, until major operating systems will update their desktop environments to GNOME 3.4, advanced users can download the GNOME 3.4 sources
right from Softpedia.
The first point release of GNOME 3.4 will be released next month, on April 18th, 2012. GNOME 3.6, th next major release of the GNOME 3 desktop environment will be released on September 2012. Follow us on Google+