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Elementary OS updates, April 2020
and my opinions about them

May 2nd, 2020

There are quite a few updates for April, as we are also getting excited since Ubuntu 20.04 - the base of Elementary OS 6 - has arrived. I like these monthly updates between, because we see how much devs actually care about small stuff.

Also note that the new version will arrive, when it is done, no release date yet. This is the Elementary way and honestly I like it. Less hectic for the devs to work on it, and at the end we will have a better, more reliable distro.

This post is about some of the updates and my opinions about them, for full announcement see the Elementary OS blog. As always, you can get these updates by going to AppCenter.

Screen Time & Limits

Formerly known as Parental Controls, now you can apply rules for your own account! This is my own personal wish, and I am glad the devs are listening to the users. They also promise more reliable usage.

What does it know? You can add a period of time when that given user will be able to login and use the machine. Both for weekdays and weekends. Sadly you can add only one period. Additionally you can block websites and restrict applications. No possibility of importing list of websites though.

Applications menu

One big change is that the category view now has a list view for applications, instead of the old grid view. This fits better for a traditional menu type, plus grid here was redundant, because we already had a grid view. Keyboard navigation and performance were also improved, which are always welcome. I myself trying to keep the menu tidy, uninstall stuff if I don't feel to use it anymore.

System Settings

They improved the search, now you can search for individual settings and use your keyboard to select it! And they made some nice animations for it, too! The devs also added some usability stuff for easier understanding, like dock size. This is always welcome, less confusion for the new user.

However the biggest update is with User Account Settings is, that finally we have to only give our password, when we actually change the settings, and not before. This is a much safer way to do things. As the devs said: "It not only makes things less cluttered, but it makes sure users don’t authenticate unless they actually need to to, which is safer anyways—we don’t want to train people to type their password all the time for no good reason."

AppCenter

One big changes that AppCenter only check for updates once per day now, in this way it doesn't hold your computer hostige. It still checks for updates when you start AppCenter, but let's be honest after a while we don't use that much.

Other than that the extensions for certain programs are now clearly defined. We have better keyboard navigation, like search with Ctrl + F from anywhere and use down arrow to reach the results. There were a couple of big bugfixes, but I can't comment on them, since I don't really use flatpaks.

Others

Couple of bugfixes for Videos, Gala window manager, login screen, etc. Nice "Open in" for Photos, which I really like.

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