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Shell 9-Dots App Launching Animation

First of all, for whoever has missed it, these are the mockups.



The animations coming in two parts. The first is when we click on the 9-dots button, and the second when we launch an application. The second part is not yet implemented, but we can try the first one.



The embedded Shell’s video recording, for some reason slows down the animations, when in reality are perfectly smooth. This is a work from Carlos Soriano, and you can read some more info on his blog-post.

A Short Review

The animation takes around 1sec to complete, but during the transition the icons are clear enough, so I would say that it will slow us down, maybe 0.3, to 0.4sec, which is accepted. In any case, I think it will never bother or tire us watching it.


Aside from the aesthetics, this behavior also reveals that the 9-dots button, is actually a “box” that contains our applications. So it serves a functional purpose as well.

Of course it also looks cool, and it could be a good marketing trick to demonstrate!

Will It Be On GNOME 3.14?

Yes and No. This feature is planned for GNOME 3.14, but it isn’t a priority. Everything depends from the final result; if it will be fast enough on older systems, and how it will “feel” on actual use to GNOME designers.

What If We Don’t Like It

In the case that it will be available on GNOME 3.14, you will probably be able to use an extension to disable it, or edit the animations. There won’t be an option to turn it on/off.


You can easily test this with JHBuild. I didn’t try to rebase it, rather I just used the Swarm branch, which by the way is 7 weeks old.

On jhbuildrc

branches['gnome-shell'] = (None, 'swarm')


$ jhbuild buildone gnome-shell

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