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Gnome Maps & 6 more upcoming G-Apps

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GNOME Applications

By Gnome-Apps we mean these application that is a core-part of a complete Gnome-Desktop. For example Gimp is a Gnome-App but not a core one. By new generation we mean those apps that fulfill the design specification of the  latest Human Interface Guidelines, as these are described in GNOME Documentation.

GNOME Apps & Cloud

A common characteristic of all new GNOME Apps is their  possibility to “explore” data both stored on your local machine and online, in cloud services, as long as you have create at one Online Account from Settings. G-Photos that is available for G-3.8, isn’t currently able to “read” online files, but there are plans for sync with Flickr, or other Photo-Services.

GNOME Apps Vs Cloud

The first question is why do we need a Client (ie Mail) when we can work fine with for example the online Gmail’s interface. First, GNOME can connect to many Services and not just Google, like OwnCloud. Second GNOME let us to treat our data seamlessly as there are in one single place. Which is very cool.

GNOME Documents Example

I realize that a client software could never be as much as powerful as an online service. Not even faster. Online Services have the advantage to posses and manipulate huge number of data, something that a client computer can’t do, both for technically (resources) and politically (data-control) reasons.

That doesn’t seem to be a huge issue for Documents, since GNOME added a “web-browser” inside it, and it makes no difference (in theory) if you are using Chrome Browser or GNOME Documents to edit an online document stored in GoogleDrive.

The point is that GNOME Cloud Apps are needed to ensure that people can have a equal (as possible) experience no matter if their files are stored in their PC or Googles Servers, or Yahoo or Microsoft, or in some Open Source Online service etc..


G-Web (aka Epiphany) in 3.8 gained WebKit2 support that makes it about as fast as Chrome (but not really). Google’s Chromebooks selling at crazy rates, and that makes me think that what most people are really needing is just a Web-Browser. Therefore I still believe that GNOME should pay more attention to G-Web rather any other App.

A full integrated browser with the system it should be a top-class priority. The competition is hard to get, but that doesn’t mean a lot.

GNOME Apps Vs Shell

It is clear that GNOME Apps can’t follow the development rates of Shell. Shell seems to be 2-3 versions ahead of Apps and the gap gets bigger in each release. Certainly that is not fault of programmers, since they are the same people that do Apps and Shell. I can’t even say that developers pay more attention to Shell. A reason might be the effort that is needed to create something in Shell and Apps.

Hopefully JavaScript in Apps together with better documentation will speed up G-App implementation, will attract new contributors and will lead to more and richer applications. Step by step, not in one day.


One App that uses JavaScript (at least for now!) is Gnome Maps, that display maps with libchamplain and works currently with Open Street Map.


Right now you can’t nothing but Zooming, but is a start ;)


Yet another Music Application for Linux, but this one is totally for GNOME. I really doubt if a KDE or Ubuntu user will install it. There is a question here, why not Rhythmbox? Oh well, people just wanted to start something from scratch. Linux hasn’t any issue in music players, and also has the very powerful Tomahawk.


My list doesn’t seem very rich, some kind of bug probably. Normally Music can already list and play audio-files.

Gnome Software

The most anticipated App. Installing Software in a human manner. Till we get that, GNOME will never be exactly very human friendly ;)


When? None can’t answer that. But it needs a small mericle to be ready in 3.10.  Just a small one!

Gnome Weather

A very similar to Gnome Clocks App, but it shows the weather rather than time. I think is a mistake to don’t have just one App for Weather and Time.


Till Weather App get ready you can have the amazing Weather Extension, that already works for 3.8!


Gnome Notes

Notes or Bijiben is a very working excellent application. I am not quite sure why they didn’t push it on GNOME 3.8 (but it will be in 3.10), so everyone can use it. One of the most useful little apps ever!

I hope that Arch will push this in their repos. Fedora 19, hasn’t it. Shame on them!

Gnome Calendar

Definitely the most well designed Gnome App I’ve seen so far.  It can sync with a variety of Calendar Services or you just can use it as a fast agenda. 


When? Yet another riddle ;)

Gnome Videos

The revisited UI of Totem was supposed to be ready for 3.8, but it postponed for 3.10. Original plan was to make a Videos application from scratch.

Videos Mockup!

Will it come in 3.10, won’t come, will come, won’t come.. ;)

All the above Apps (but Videos) are compiled today. So it is pretty much their current status. Their releasing dates and the features in most of them are depended of your contribution. Translating, Programming, Testing, Design, Donations ..or Praying if you are believers ;)

You can see all the upcoming GNOME Applications at:

Other interesting links includes:

And my personal favorite from playgrounds..


A Shell Extension that reads and auto completes the context menus of Applications, similar to Unity HUD. Actually someone has already started to work on that extension.

Background is from GNOME Collection, Sunset.

And all GNOME Backgrounds:

  We can't watch comments unless G+ provides an API or if you send a notification, e.g +World Of Gnome
     Sometimes is better to place your questions on GNOME Community
  • Philip Witte

    Gnome Software & Gnome Notes are two software’s i’m looking forward to the most i think, but all the apps look nice and should make for a consistent desktop experience out-of-the-box. Gnome Software should really help folks looking to make (for example) a user-friendly Arch Linux spinoff, and surely it will be a huge benefit of Fedora/SUSE/etc as well.

    BTW, You misspelled the “Gnome Software” title.

  • Renato

    There’s a long, long way to go.

  • João Vinholi

    Gnome 3 has evolved a lot since first release, in a productivity question. Can’t wait to use these apps!

  • Raoul

    When can we use it on a tablet?

    • Mike Manilone

      Well, someone has just installed it on an X86 tablet ;-)

      You can, too if you have an X86 tablet.

      • alex285

        Hey, what tablet you tried it on?

        • Mike Manilone

          That’s not mine, but my friend’s. I asked but I forgot the name…

      • Craig

        It has nothing at all to do with X86. It should work on other architectures just fine.

  • Craig

    gnome-maps uses libchamplain for map rendering, not WebKit. You guessed wrong!

    • alex285

      Oops true. I had to check, lazy me. Was just 10 files. Thanks!

  • Craig

    Shame on who? Oh, those volunteers who probably already maintain a dozen or so packages each? Why don’t you package it?

    • alex285

      The reason isn’t the extra work. Besides to be a volunteer doesn’t make much difference than to be on a payroll. I know many volunteers that work on things that don’t want, just because they “have to”, in a sense. However the “shame on them” was meant to be taken lightly.

  • Bastian Hougaard

    Awesome – Kinda hoping Geary will take the place of the planned ‘Mail’ application just because duplicating efforts is unnecessary and because yorba is doing a great job with Geary. :)

    • Craig

      “duplicating efforts is unnecessary”

      That’s a crock of shit.

      “Don’t underestimate the power of survival of the fittest. And don’t ever make the mistake that you can design something better than what you get from ruthless massively parallel trial-and-error with a feedback cycle. That’s giving your intelligence much too much credit.” — Linus Torvalds

      • liam

        This quote might make sense given a different context but the Gnome team is unlikely to take another app regardless of how good it is.
        For example, Firefox/Chromium, gnote, banshee, thunderbird, etc.
        So, there will be no competition and unless your distro makes changes, your gnome will at least come with these rather poor apps.

        • Craig

          All those examples aren’t valid candidates for inclusion because they don’t make use of the GNOME/GObject stack. Geary does. So you have a good point in general but it’s not really applicable here. The only areas it slips slightly is using a few (currently optional) not-invented-here Ubuntu APIs.

          • liam

            If the goal of Gnome is to produce the best desktop possible then my points hold. If the first goal is to make use of gobject then your point makes sense (though, IIRC, gnote does use gobject). Moreoever, there are many other examples I (or you) could’ve chosen that would be both better than what the Gnome devs have come up with and use gobject.

            Building a top-of-the-line browser is one of the least trivial things you can do, and there is simply little need to do this with Gnome. You have the choice of two open source browsers that are excellent. Better than anything the community is likely to come up with in the foreseeable future (not withstanding the clutter integration in Epiphany). Also, when you run FF on your desktop, see how much shared memory it uses. The last time I checked it was better at using shared memory than anything else you commonly see in Gnome.

            This is actually one of the places where Gnome falls hard: their priorities are whacked. The goal, the ONLY goal, should be to provide the best desktop possible using OSS, period. I understand why they want to continue to use gtk (and I don’t blame them, though I’m personally a fan of EFL), gobject, and the rest of the stack to build the framework upon, but none of that precludes including best of class OSS applications, especially ones, like FF, where you can easily theme them to fit in well with desktop in general.

          • Craig

            A massive part (probably the majority) of the engineering effort that goes into Firefox and Chrome are things that *already exist* in the GNOME stack. For example XUL vs. GTK+, Skia vs Cairo, libsoup vs Chrome’s net stack etc. etc. The GNOME devs already support and understand these libraries and the rest of the platform already uses them.

            WebCore (the standards part of WebKit) is built *specifically* to allow different platforms to use their own font renderer, graphics library, network stack etc. etc. and it’s built this way *precisely because* the engineers have some real world experience and understand that’s what platform devs are going to do anyway. WebKit is, as the name suggests, a *kit* designed to be put together in pieces. That’s why there’s WebKitEFL, WebKitGtk, WebKitQt, Chromium, Opera etc. It’s not just by chance or because those people love re-inventing the wheel. That’s the way it was designed.

            Also, You don’t seem to understand the concept of “shared memory” at all. When you load the Cairo shared object into memory, it can be used by *every* application that links against it. If you then decide to use something like Skia, you now have 2 libraries in memory that do almost exactly the same thing.

            The guys working on Epiphany and WebKitGTK are talented people. They have probably done a lot of cost/benefit analysis before they put months/years of their time into it. You, on the other hand, seem to be just conjecturing in the abstract without any experience or clue of what you are talking about.

            Go work on one of these projects yourself and let us know when you’ve made some progress on the things you are complaining about. You’ll rapidly discover that the problems aren’t in the areas you previously thought they were and that guessing without any hard experience puts you firmly in the peanut gallery.

          • Craig

            “The goal, the ONLY goal, should be to provide the best desktop possible using OSS, period”

            Why should GNOME put together a piecemeal collection of packages when that’s already what distributions do? That’s not GNOME’s goal at all. GNOME is trying to be a coherent platform, not a check-list.

            It’s delusional to think a platform can be coherent if all you’re gonna do is just pick your favourite OSS apps, rubber stamp them and get by on marketing. Ubuntu are already trying that move and failing.

  • Marcos V.F.

    Very nice! Beautiful and simple apps with all that we need. Alex, can you explain for us in a article the ideia of Gnome Menus (GMenu, Gear button and others. I don’t understand why Gnome have some menus in different locations, but in other hand Gnome keep a good design job with the new Apps) ? Could be nice!!
    Keep the good work, i love this site!

    • Eric Sonnenberg

      I agree with that! A explanation of that would be really great.
      Also this was a good article. I’m really waiting for the “Software”-app.

    • Mike Manilone

      Menus in topbar are called App Menu, which means it’s for the whole application. As a result, in Empathy, no matter you’re in a chat window or the main window, it will show you the same menu.

      The original menus are still menus, which are used for one single window.

      That’s the difference: when the main window is hidden, you can still easily click on its menu ;-)

      • liam

        Empathy isn’t a great example as it has a terrible UX.
        If the window is hidden then it is likely not focused thus it’s app menu wouldn’t be shown.
        Still waiting to hear a coherent explanation for global menus (especially as it applies to desktop use and multimontiors).

        • Mike Manilone

          Well, I meant subwindows of an app – an app menu is cross-windows.

          • liam

            I understand, that’s why I said empathy was a bad example since it is an aberrant app (bad ui/ux). Moreover, you could achieve the same affect in empathy by simply giving each window those same options as exist in the global menu.

            That is actually one of the more annoying things about global menus is the cognitive overhead in determining when to go to said menu versus the gear menu. I’m not arguing that one can’t learn when to go to which but simply that such overhead is not even necessary since you gain so very little.

  • Rajesh Ksv

    Where can I get gnome photos ? I installed 3.8 but couldnt find one.

    • alex285


      • Rajesh Ksv

        Ubuntu 13.04 beta

        • alex285

          Hmm, there isn’t, not even GNOME 3 PPA Team ships it in any of their repos. IDK why

  • Rajesh Ksv

    Installed gnome calendar. Its pretty Nice :) Waiting for integration into gnome shell calendar(date) applet :)

  • Matthew Javelet

    I understand the GNOME team to want to create their own applications to handle basic things for when they release a mobile version or whatever. It is still too much. I would prefer a basic MEDIA application that allows us to view photos/videos/music instead of a basic featureless standalone application for each one.

    Oh well, these are all still good updates.

    • Badreddine Moon

      I think that the purpose of making a separate apps for everything would make it easy specially for new comers to Gnu/Linux because you don’t have to know what app that runs your music or …. all you have to do is to type calendar ….. or search for it.