What’s New in elementary OS 6.1 and Should You Switch? – MUO – MakeUseOf

The new elementary OS 6.1, codenamed “Jólnir” comes packed with a bunch of new features and updates. Here’s everything you need to know.
elementary OS is a modern-day Linux distro with a slew of innovative features and a gorgeous user interface. It targets users who are coming from either macOS or Windows background. But users of traditional Linux systems will also find elementary OS appealing, thanks to its redefined desktop environment and sleek design language.
The developers have recently released elementary OS 6.1, dubbed Jólnir. It's the first point release in the 6 series and succeeds elementary OS 6, Odin.
Being a point release, Jólnir comes with many bug fixes, UI improvements, and addresses several issues present in earlier versions. The redesigned window switcher makes navigation seamless, and the professional office suite aims to increase productivity for those who need it the most.
Below, we look closely at some of the most notable improvements in elementary OS 6.1.
elementary OS 6.1 makes several adjustments to the desktop, including changes to the applications menu, the file chooser portal, window dialogs, and the quick window switcher.
Instead of using the dock for window switching, Jólnir ships with a shiny new switcher. It is positioned at the center of the current display and features larger icons for quick identification of apps.
Changes have also been made to window dialog animations. Instead of spawning from their parent window, dialogs appear from the top. Plus, the parent window gets dimmed to make the dialogs stand out. The File Chooser portal too features several new functionalities, including a New Folder action and a drop-down filter.
The updated applications menu now allows users to search for folders alongside apps and works with any Linux file manager. Jólnir also supports launching programs onto dedicated GPUs and improves the dark style, OS installer, and makes housekeeping easier.
elementary OS Odin first discarded Debian packages in favor of Flatpak, and the latest release continues that trend. AppCenter now features over 90 curated apps alongside many non-curated ones.
The home page has been redesigned with banners listing apps that have been released or updated recently. Users can see the release information of apps directly in AppCenter. Apps are also categorized with a space-efficient grid that separates paid, free, and non-curated apps.
AppCenter readily displays apps from newly added remotes without system reboots. Apps are also installed on a per-user basis by default. Plus, users of other popular Linux distributions can also use AppCenter apps by downloading them from the AppCenter website.
elementary OS 6.1 added several updates and improvements to System Settings, including displays & scaling, sound settings, keyboard, and more.
The Display setting has been fixed to eliminate an issue that caused the "Use this display" switch to fail in some multi-display setups. It now lists resolutions with a different aspect ratio in a separate sub-menu.
The improved sound indicator shows new device icons, making finding outputs easier. The scroll interaction on the volume slider has also been updated to work with horizontal scrolls.
The EDS-based Online Accounts system has received several improvements, including navigating using the Enter and Esc keys. The IMAP authentication methods have been updated, and users can now edit existing CalDAV and IMAP accounts at ease.
elementary OS 6 featured a new version of Mail instead of Geary, and it has been updated with newer functionalities. It now automatically notifies when new messages arrive. Multiple notifications are grouped for a more convenient view.
Updates were also rolled out to the Calendar app, including notification fixes and time zone improvements. You can now open Calendar quickly by middle-clicking on Date & Time.
elementary OS 6.1 updated Web from version 3.38 to 41, bringing several key improvements, including a redesigned tab bar, rounded window corners, and many performance benefits.
Files has received several new features and bug fixes as well. It's now possible to open bookmarks in new tabs. You can also select a group of files by holding the Ctrl key. Plus, it has new actions for "Select All", "Deselect All", and "Invert Selection".
Moreover, you can now use blank passwords for remote connections using the "Connect to Server" dialog. Improvements are also rolled out for Audio, Video, Calculator, and Code.
The latest version of elementary OS brings several new features and performance improvements to the overall system. It certainly lives up to the hype created by earlier elementary releases.
Don't let its sleek look fool you, however. elementary OS certainly has everything an experienced Linux user would love.
Rubaiat is a CS grad with a strong passion for open-source. Apart from being a Unix veteran, he’s also into network security, cryptography, and functional programming. He’s an avid collector of secondhand books and has a never-ending admiration for classic rock.
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