The latest version of the GNOME desktop, GNOME 2.28 has been released.
True to GNOME’s six-month release cycle, GNOME 2.28 builds on the earlier 2.26 release with new features, improvements, hundreds of bug fixes and translations.
Key enhancements include:
- The first release of the GNOME Bluetooth module to help users manage Bluetooth devices. It supports hundreds of Bluetooth devices and also includes PulseAudio integration for Bluetooth headsets and headphones. GNOME Bluetooth also includes support for Internet access through a mobile phone.
- Improvements to the Time Tracker applet, which helps track time and tasks. It now includes an overview screen and colours as well as auto-complete support, and export improvements, such as filtering by category, iCal to import into Evolution, Google Calendar and other clients, XML and tab-separated values.
- Improvements to Empathy Instant Messenger.
- The Web browser, Epiphany, has switched to WebKit from Gecko for its rendering engine. The change means users may not be able to save logins and passwords in forms, but the bug will be fixed during the 2.30 development cycle.
- Cheese, a webcam photo and video application, features an updated user interface and a special mode to taking multiple pictures at a time. Cheese's user interface has also been optimised for smaller screens, such as netbooks.
There are also several tweaks to menus and buttons to standardise the look and feel of menus and Power Manager now supports laptops with multiple batteries and has added disk spindown support for DeviceKit disks.
GNOME 2.28 is also the latest release of the GNOME Developer Platform, a set of API- and ABI-stable libraries available under the GNU LGPL that can be used for the development of cross-platform applications.
Work has also begun on GNOME 2.30, due to be released in March 2010. A decision on which version will become GNOME 3.0 will be made in early November 2009.
According to the GNOME documentation library: "This decision will be based on the progress of new and current GNOME applications and libraries and their impact on accessibility, stability and usability," the GNOME website reads. GNOME 2.30 will continue to provide the desktop platform and applications it always has, and will also potentially feature a new user interface in GNOME Shell and the GNOME Activity Journal which easily helps you browse and find files on your computer."