Friday, February 28, 2014
Fedora 20: A Visual Tour
I recently posted a quick article describing some of the Fedora 20 features and strengths. I was in a rush and couldn't get much done in terms of screenshots, but I knew I owed this fantastic release of both Fedora and GNOME Shell a proper show. In the following screenshots I wanted to show mostly GNOME native applications and what it looks like outside the box, perhaps with the exception of a custom icon set and a couple extensions. The desktop continues to be a joy to watch in Fedora 20 GNOME, so clean and uncluttered. The default wallpapers are gorgeous, like the one I am using here. The menus have changed slightly, but I personally believe the visual improvement is significant. With the help of the apps and places extensions, GNOME Shell can feel much more familiar while maintaining its modern look. The former one provides a somewhat classic application menu... ...while the latter helps users access locations easily. The Activities Menu has also been refined further, looking better than ever. The search, just like anything else in the Shell in version 3.10, feels snappier than ever, very responsive. Changing lock and desktop wallpapers is a breeze, intuitive and quite flexible, including wallpapers that change during the day. The Clocks app has a definite iOS vibe to it, but in a good way, works well and looks good. GNOME Tweak Tool has also received some much needed attention and it now offers more options in a much better looking UI. A very interesting little app is Weather, which looks fantastic while offering the usual forecast of one or more locations of your choice. Files continues to be a favorite of mine. Perhaps very advanced users may miss similarly advanced features, but for the activities a vast majority of users deal with, it works like a charm. It looks as clean and uncluttered as it gets, really! The new Software app makes a debut in Fedora 20 and what a welcomed new comer it is. Fedora lacked badly of a proper GUI Software Manager and it finally got one. The list of installed apps is consistent with the Shell approach: simple and intuitive. Updates are shown here when users proactively open the Software app to check, otherwise they'll show up in a notification and popup window. My disappointment is that this upgrade process always asks for a reboot to apply changes, which brings long forgotten nightmares from the days of being frustrated with Windows. The settings app continues to offer more options, but I am one of those who absolutely thinks it should merge with GNOME Tweak Tool. Notifications in GNOME Shell continue to be one of its strengths, delivering just the right information without becoming a distraction. They can easily be configured as shown below.