Gnome 42 Beta Released With New Appearance Settings Panel, Refreshed OSD Elements UI, A New In-Shell Screenshot Tool, And More!

With the approaching date of the final release of the GNOME desktop interface scheduled for March 23, 2022, the developers of the interface announced the beta version of it to enable application and extension developers to test and prepare their projects for the new version. 

With the release of the beta version of GNOME, the interface enters the so-called feature freeze phase and user interface freeze, which means that no big things and features will be added to it, and the developer team will only focus on some small improvements here and there to make sure the interface is stable enough and free from bugs and issues before launch. 

Gnome 42 is still in its beta phase and it contains some bugs and some crashes of the interface or some of its applications may occur from time to time, so it is not recommended to install it on your daily work device.  {alertWarning}



The focus on this release, as we were told in our  GNOME 42 Alpha article, is on porting more desktop environment components and applications to GTK4 to modernize the interface and give it a unified look. Four new applications have been ported to GTK4 between the alpha and beta versions which are: GNOME Font Viewer, Gnome Tour, Gnome Weather, Gnome Calendar. 

Among the most notable new changes in GNOME 42 beta is the new Appearance panel in the Settings app, which contains a Style section that allows toggling between dark and light mode for the interface. Additionally, the development team has added new default & supplemental wallpapers in light and dark variants. 

Each of these wallpapers consists of two backgrounds, one for the light mode and the other for the dark mode, and the background assigned to each mode is automatically applied when it is selected under the Style section. 

On the other hand, the development team has removed the top bar rounded corners from GNOME Shell, both the extensions app and the OSD (on-screen display) elements received a complete redesign, a new 'high-contrast' setting has been added, the presentation of multi-day events in the calendar applet has been improved, and the auth lists are now supported on the login screen. 

In addition, A new in-shell screenshot and screencast UI has been implanted which it's replaced the Gnome screenshot tool, the French and Swiss language support has been added for the on-screen keyboard, the screen fades when switching between dark/light mode, and libAdwaita is now used for extension preferences. 

Moving on to the core interface applications, in this version, the Calls app (for mobile devices) allows adding contacts from the call history, SIP providers can now handle URIs, and preferred audio codecs can be set by gsetting. Gnome maps Use now the location portal when sandboxed, and Support alternative OpenStreetMap location URLs format in the search bar, eog (Eye of Gnome; it’s an image viewer app) uses libhandy for dark style preference and rounded window corners and received Updated keyboard shortcuts, and the Year view in the Gnome calendar has been rewritten to be a month navigator. 

In the Nautilus file manager, changes made to support GTK 4 have been rolled back because porting to this toolkit is still working, needs more time to be ready (will not be included in GNOME 42), critical issues when selecting non-ZIP formats for compression are fixed, the development team added shadows to thumbnails in older views, and a dark mode setting support for the file manager. 

The behavior during event flood of text-related events from web apps has been improved on Orca (a screen-reader app), Gjs (a package that allows you to use the GNOME platform libraries in your JavaScript programs) is now based on SpiderMonkey 91 adding many new features and APIs to it, and the readability.js has been updated to its latest release, ighlight.js to version 11.4.0, and PDF.js to version 2.12.313 in epiphany web browser 42 beta.  

In Gnome software, rows have been condensed in the age rating context dialog, the UI for app ratings and reviews has been updated, the appearance of the category page loading screen and the app dark theming have been improved, and it got also icon updates. 

Lastly, In GNOME 42 beta, battery information for Bluetooth devices can be exported, and you can check if any input devices are connected so you can show a confirmation dialog when Bluetooth is turned off, Gnome Music supports Dark mode switching and the slow startup of the app has been fixed, and On the GNOME desktop, async methods for creating thumbnails have been added. 

The final version of GNOME 42 will be available, as we mentioned, on March 23, and it will be available in the repositories of most Linux distributions after this date, but if you want to try all these new features from now, you can download the GNOME OS 42 beta version through the link bellow, and try it on your computer on a virtual machine (this version requires the GNOME Boxes Flatback app, it cannot and is not recommended to be installed on your device), or you can try it on downloading Fedora Rawhide or adding the GNOME Next repository for OpenSUSE Tumbleweed (add the repo in your own risk, it is very instable) if you have it installed on your device. 

{getButton} $icon={download} $text={Download Gnome OS 42 Beta} $color={#3BAED3}


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