Other Features in GNOME 3.14

The latest GNOME release includes many other new features and improvements.

A More Featureful Boxes

3.14 is a big release for Boxes, the GNOME application for virtual and remote machines. It introduces snapshots, which allows you to save a virtual machine at a point in time and return to it later. This is useful for returning to a known working state. Other improvements include:

  • Automatic downloading: just give Boxes the address to an install image, and it will download and install it for you.

  • Multiple boxes can now be run in their own separate windows.

  • Express installation for Debian.

  • A collection of user interface improvements, including better fullscreen behavior and nicer thumbnails.

New Animations

New animations have been added to the Activities Overview for this release, creating a smoother and more engaging experience. Window animations have also been improved for this release, with new transitions when opening, closing, and minimizing windows.

Software Keeps Getting Better

GNOME's new facility for browsing and installing applications has been making major progress in recent releases, and 3.14 is no exception. The home page, which presents featured and recommended applications, has been enhanced with an improved layout, more content, and star ratings. Additionally, application add-ons can be installed and removed directly from within Software, and many more applications now provide screenshots and descriptions, making it easier to choose the right application for you.

Reworked Visual Theme

A huge amount of attention to detail has gone into GNOME 3.14. The visual theme used by applications has been overhauled from the ground up, with many subtle improvements. Message dialogs have been significantly improved, progress bars have a new, more compact appearance, spinners have a new design, and menus and switches also have a new look. Many controls now have animated transitions.

New-Look Games

GNOME's games have continued to modernize for this release. Mines and Sudoku have both been redesigned, and have new graphics and improved user interfaces. A new number game called Hitori is also making its debut in 3.14.

Streamlined Help

Help, the GNOME documentation browser, had a major update for 3.14. Redesigned to be consistent with other GNOME 3 applications, it is now much more compact and streamlined. The new application uses a header bar to save space, has an integrated search function, a modern, overlaid find box, and a new bookmarking interface.

Even More

There are many other smaller improvements in GNOME 3.14. These include:

  • Maps has a new route planning feature for 3.14. Implemented using the open source GraphHopper, this allows you to plan journeys by foot, bicycle or car. It is possible to add points along your desired route, and the route is displayed as a simple set of instructions.

  • System search has become even more useful, with the addition of search providers from Calculator and Clocks. This allows you to find the time for a city or perform calculations directly from the search box.

  • When using several monitors, GNOME 3 will now remember which display each window has been placed on, and restore them to their original position when monitors are disconnected and connected. This is particularly useful for laptops with docking stations.

  • Opening documents has been improved in gedit, with a new popover which allows you to quickly search recent documents. The latest version of gedit also includes a collection of other smaller improvements, including a new header bar menu and new and updated keyboard shortcuts and mnemonics.

  • GNOME's geolocation framework has been enhanced with the use of Mozilla's Location Service for 3G and network-based positioning. This provides greater accuracy, which will continue to improve in the future.

  • Contacts has had a batch of user interface improvements for 3.14. Contact creation now happens in-line, rather than in a dialog, and the setup assistant has been improved. Many dialogs have also been refined to match GNOME 3 design guidelines.

  • Music has gained a powerful new search feature, which allows you to search either your local music collection or online sources, such as Magnatune and Jamendo. With 3.14, it is also possible to create your own music playlists.