Elementary OS Jólnir Released, This is What's New!

 Four months after the announcement of the 6.0 Odin release, Danielle Foré, Founder and CEO of elementary OS (or for short, eOS) just announced the availability of a new 6.1 release of my favorite Linux distribution, code-named Jólnir.

Elementary OS 6.1 isn't actually a new version of the distro, and it doesn't offer big system changes, such as a newer Ubuntu base, or a new Linux kernel, it's just the same elementary OS 6.0 with updates announced by the development team since its release.

 I don't know what the purpose of releasing version 6.1 is, because the elementary OS team updates the installation image they offer for download on their site, with each monthly update, but anyway, here is what you will get in elementary OS 6.1:

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  • If you have an installation image of elementary OS 6.0 Odin, you do not need to download the Jólnir image, just install the ISO that you have, apply the updates available in the App Store, then restart your computer, and you will find that your device has been updated to version 6.1.
  • If you are an existing Elementary OS 6.0 user, just apply the updates, restart your computer and congrats! You now have the new version of the distro.

App Center New Features and Improvements:

App Center is an essential component of elementary OS, as it provides a secure and easy way to get your favorite apps. You can also support app publishers directly from the store by paying for some apps, which is a great way to thank these developers for their hard work and time developing these apps (you can also download them for free if you wish).

The elementary OS development team has made some big changes to the App Store since elementary or 6.0, updating the store homepage with swipeable banners displaying the latest curated apps recently released for the distro.

Below these banners is a section with twelve other of the most recently updated apps, and instead of just showing the app icon and name as previously, this section now also shows a summary of each app and a button to install it, as well as the developer-recommended price if the app is running monetize it.

The category views (such as Sound or System..., etc.)now use a grid-view that makes better use of available space. Paid, free, and non-curated applications (which will appear when you add a third-party remote control such as Flathub) have also been separated into their own sections within categories, and apps from newly added remotes like Flathub now appear in the AppCenter without having to restart your device.

The development team also added an information card at the top of each application to display some application's features, as well as warnings about some practices that some non-curated applications may perform, such as containing violent or nudity content and collecting information about users. 

The user is also notified when he presses the button to install a non-curated application telling him that the distribution team has not reviewed and does not guarantee its security, privacy, or system integration. 

As part of the team’s effort to make AppCenter better on small displays, there is a new progress indicator when installing, removing, or updating apps, and instead of a separate progress bar, the progress is now indicated in a compact way over the cancel button.

The app purchase window has been simplified, by making it easier to choose how much you want to pay an app developer (this amount is unrestricted, you can pay whatever you want), and validated entries now show a green check while invalid ones a red error, so it's More obvious when card information is entered incorrectly.

There was the most significant change that was made to the elementary OS App Store, which as you can see is quite a lot, and this is normal in light of the great efforts that the distribution development team has put in to make the store better day by day, and as a result, the number of apps in the store increased from about 70 apps when elementary OS 6.0 has launched 97 different apps (as of the time of writing), and that number is expected to go up, like two weeks ago, there were only 83 orders in the store. The eOS 6.0 distro has also achieved more than 250,000 direct downloads, without considering downloads from third parties or direct downloads via torrent.

Pantheon Desktop Changes:

Now let's move on to the desktop, as it has also got a lot of improvements to make the user experience and productivity better:

The first and most important change you might notice on your desktop when upgrading to Elementary OS 6.1 is the completely redesigned window switcher (Alt + Tab shortcut).

Previously, quick window switching reused the dock to show application windows you can switch between and hide the rest of the desktop to highlight only the newly focused window. This method of transmission caused a lot of flickers, especially when switching between applications quickly, and its appearance was not pleasant at all, in addition, it could cause some problems for people with certain types of photosensitivity. And So, the Window Switcher has been redesigned and simplified in Elementary OS Jólnir to just displays an icon for each open application window, with its title at the bottom of the switcher. 


The new window switcher always shows centered on the current display, and it follows both the dark style preference and your selected accent color.

The interaction design of dialogs has been also updated in this new version, with dialogs animate in from above on top of their parent window, plus it dims the parent windows behind blocking modal dialogs to make it clearer which window it belongs to and to indicate that the dialog needs to be addressed before proceeding.

The file Chooser portal (which is used when applications request to open a file) has gotten its share of updates as well, with new functionalities such as a New Folder action, a drop-down to filter the types of files shown, and an option to restrict the requesting app’s access to a read-only version of the opened file. Furthermore, how the dialog is displayed in apps has also been improved, and issues with focus and more reliably opening on top of the requesting application window, have been fixed.

In other news, all future GNOME apps (version 42 and above) will respect user preferences regarding dark or light styles on Elementary OS 6.1 thanks to improvements made in the Settings portal, as they will appear dark if the user chooses the dark theme from the elementary OS settings, and vice versa. KDE didn’t yet add the support for applications to respect user preferences style, so KDE apps will not benefit from these changes in eOS 6.1.

The Application Menu now allows users, in addition to apps, to search for folders and bookmarked locations such as downloads, photos, or even network shares. This feature will work with whatever is the default file manager.

The Apps Menu now also displays a secondary click menu on search result items that allow hybrid graphics users to run applications on dedicated graphics (such as NVIDIA Optimus), and finally, the menu should now be more responsive in terms of displaying recently installed apps without restarting, thanks to some tweaks made to it.

Elementary OS has also a housekeeping feature where temporary files and old trash can be cleaned automatically to save space and help protect your privacy, and in eOS 6.1, the Downloads folder has been added to the housekeeping list to help you free up more space.

 System Settings:

In Display settings, changing display resolution should be quite a bit more convenient now since resolutions with a different aspect ratio are shown in a separate sub-menu.


On the Online Account Settings page, you can now edit your existing CalDAV and IMAP accounts by selecting the pencil icon in its row.

The Power indicator allows showing the screen brightness level when scrolled, it has a better matching with the scroll behavior of other indicators, and it is automatically showing the battery percentage when it’s low, and showing “Fully Charged” when at 100% and plugged in.

In the sound indicator, you will notice new device icons to make it easier to find the correct output. The scroll interaction on the volume slider has also been improved to work with horizontal scrolling, and invalid "analog" output devices that can appear in certain situations have been cleaned up.

In Sound Settings, you’ll see similar but larger, full-color device icons to distinguish devices, as well as an easier-to-scan multi-line layout.

In the keyboard settings, the developers have improved the display of custom shortcuts with a clearer design and menu for changing or deleting shortcuts and added an on-screen keyboard key to the Layouts tab.

Updates to the elementary OS core applications:

In elementary OS Jólnir, the Mail app will automatically notify you when new messages arrive, even when the window is closed. There’s also a clever grouping of notifications so that if several messages come in at once, we’ll only send one notification per account.

A new inline toolbar with a "refresh" button to fetch new messages manually and toggle filters for unread or starred chats has been added, and conversations are now resorted by time and date when new messages are received.

In Tasks, the Delete shortcut key has been replaced with Ctrl+Backspace to prevent accidental task deletion, and a confirmation dialog when deleting a task list has been added as well.

Task items with due dates now also appear alongside daily events in the Date & Time indicator and selecting task items there will launch Tasks, and finally, you can now drag and drop task items between lists in the sidebar.

The distro default web browser, Epiphany, has been updated to the latest version 41, with a redesigned preferences' dialog, with new options to disallow local storage is now included, and a new optional Google search suggestions feature. Appearance settings now include the ability to add custom JavaScript, and the Firefox sync feature has moved from the preferences' dialog to a top-level item in the main menu, and the browser’s new tab bar now, fully supports touch screens.

In the Files app, you can now open bookmarks in a new tab with Ctrl-Click, the names of bookmarked folders will now properly update if your language was changed, and the overlay bar in the bottom right don’t briefly appear now when switching between bookmarks. The “Connect to Server” dialog now allows blank passwords for remote connections, e.g., for connecting to an SSH server via a private key instead of a password, and You can now drag-to-select a group of files, hold, and drag to select an additional group of files.

The camera app uses a more performing resolution in preview but will save full-resolution images for better performance, and the app now sets a working camera to default if multiple cameras are connected, but one of them isn't available,and when you open an image in the image viewer, the focus now is placed directly on the image itself rather than the save button, allowing you to navigate between images instantly using the left and right arrow keys.


Other Updates and Fixes:

  • You can now stash the picture-in-picture window by pushing it off an edge of the screen, making it easier to get at whatever was under the window.

  • The app icon for the Document Viewer and PDF file type icons has been redesigned to match.

  • The Login & Lock screen, now use the user’s selected accent color for the logged-in checkmark.

  • There is a new toggle for “Double-tap and move to drag” in Mouse & Touchpad settings.

  • The calendar app is now open when clicking on notifications, and supports sending notifications for upcoming events while the calendar is closed.

  • Videos app is now shipping as a Flatpak and supports the two-finger-swipe to go back gesture and the navigation code has been cleaned.

  • In the Code text editor, you can distinguish between projects of the same name in the sidebar as their parent folder is now included.

  • The Calculator now focuses on the main text entry at the opening, so that entering numbers with the keyboard works right away.

These were the most important new features in Elementary OS 6.1, and if you want to give it a try, you can download it directly from the the distribution official website page.


Ahmed Bay

An ambitious young man who loves modern technologies, and seeks to cover its news and deliver it to the world. facebook twitter instagram vk

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