New features and changes in GNOME 3.36

GNOME 3.36 was released after the regular six-month development cycle. Read on to learn what new features and improvements are included in this version.

GNOME Shell changes in GNOME 3.36

For version 3.36, GNOME Shell has received considerable visual improvements, including:

  • The system menu has been reorganized. The Settings/Lock/Power menu items are no longer buttons, and the Power/Logout/Suspend options have been reorganized in the submenu, and the suspend options are now always visible (previously it was difficult to find the suspend button, requiring the user to hold down the Alt key. Change the power off button to a suspend button, or press and hold the power off button)
  • GNOME Shell now respects system font settings
  • Redesigned system dialog box (and now the dialog box that requires a password can also choose to display the password text)
  • The entire interface has been greatly improved, with special emphasis on calendar pop-ups and overview search

Screen shot with authentication dialog and redesigned system menu:

New features and changes in GNOME 3.36
Verification dialog
New features and changes in GNOME 3.36
System menu

The login and lock screens have also received design updates. The lock screen now uses the user’s desktop wallpaper with some serious blur effects applied on top of it. You can see the redesigned lock and login screen below:GNOME Shell 3.6 lock screenGNOME Shell 3.6 lock screenGNOME Shell 3.6 login screenGNOME Shell 3.6 login screen

The main reason for this redesign was to reduce “friction” and reduce the number of obvious visual steps involved in unlocking the screen, so the gray login screen is now gone. Now, instead of removing the block to display the password field, the field is displayed directly on the lock screen. To check the operation of the new GNOME 3.36 lock screen, Watch this video on YouTube.

GNOME 3.36 screenshot clock menu
Clock/calendar menu with new do not disturb button and weather forecast

There are also new features. There are some minor new features, such as renaming application folders in the application overview (app folders are now displayed as folders instead of pop-ups in the grid), and some more important Features, such as adding a “Do Not Disturb” button notification pop-up window. Once enabled, this “Do Not Disturb” mode will hide notifications until you turn it off. There is also some good news for users of proprietary Nvidia drivers-it is now possible to use the “Launch on Discrete GPU” menu to launch applications using the Discrete GPU in GNOME Shell. project.
Finally, there is a new application called Extensions for managing GNOME Shell extensions:New GNOME Shell 3.36 extension application

Using this application, users can delete or disable extensions, update extensions and configure extension preferences.
Other changes include:

  • Improved gesture support: The gestures for switching workspaces and browsing the application grid pages have been significantly improved, and can now move with the touchpad
  • Use less CPU when taking screenshots
  • Improved GNOME Shell performance.

GNOME 3.36 settings and applications

With GNOME 3.36, the “Settings” application has undergone several improvements, including rearranging areas to make it easier and faster to navigate, and updating the design for users and areas. These are the new about and user parts of GNOME 3.36:GNOME 3.36 about settingsGNOME 3.36 user settings

Now, there are some privacy sections that list applications that have been granted access to location, camera, and microphone permissions. Here, you can revoke access by application:GNOME 3.36 privacy settingsThe GNOME initial setup (a wizard that pops up when you log in to a newly installed system for the first time) now includes some parental controls. Using this feature, you can allow or deny the user to access the application. Although Fedora 32 (currently under development) has GNOME initial settings 3.36, it lacks this parental control page, so I don’t have screenshots related to this.
Application update:

  • The software now pauses updates when it detects a metered network (such as mobile data) to reduce data usage
  • Web (Epiphany Web browser) now has a responsive design, supports dark mode, and can now directly open PDFs (I cannot take a screenshot because it crashed on my Fedora 32 vm, and Ubuntu 20.04 still has Epiphany 3.34)
  • Boxes provides a new welcome tutorial (provides application functions) and a new creation assistant for creating virtual machines (the assistant can set the number of CPUs per VM and supports UEFI boot).
  • The clock has been completely redesigned and now has a responsive user interface
  • Files now allow the use of hidden files as document templates
  • Passwords and keys now show public SSH keys and have been updated to use adaptive UI
  • Fractal is a GNOME Matrix client, now you can play videos directly in the chat window
  • The user documentation has been updated for many GNOME applications.

Important improvements have also been made to the Google GVFS code, which now supports operations move and copy operations (this is what enables users to install Google Drive in GNOME through an online account).
It is also worth noting that GNOME has switched from recommending certain applications (such as Shotwell (image viewer and manager), Evolution (email client) and Rhythmbox (music player)) to “Photos”, “Geary” And “GNOME Calendar” and “Music”.
The GNOME 3.36 desktop is already available in Arch Linux (additional repositories) and may be added to other rolling Linux distributions soon. It will be available in the next version of Ubuntu and Fedora (Ubuntu 20.04 / Fedora 32) and other Linux distributions that come with the GNOME desktop. Also check check Get GNOME pageFor the screenshots in this article, I used Fedora 32 (currently under development). I actually use GNOME 3.36 (although not the final version) on real hardware on the Ubuntu 20.04 desktop, but I want to take screenshots that are closer to the default appearance, which is why I use Fedora 32.