Riot changed name, Mozilla releases VPN – And many more on nixFAQ News Roundup

Element’s new redesigned UI

It looks like a secure matrix messaging client Riot has rebranded itself, again. The latest name change for it was announced to be Element. In a blog post from Matthew Hodgson explains the whole rebranding cause. They quoted:-

“As some may know, we’ve had a few problems with the name Riot over the years.  Firstly, the biggest by far has been from a certain large games company that has consistently blocked us from being able to trademark Riot or even – which has been a huge issue when it comes to defending users against abusive forks of the app.”

So obviously it was a reasonable cause for rebranding. They also said, not only the branding is new, but they have improved both of their clients and added dark mode. The overhauled mobile app RiotX has also seen a name change.

Mozilla unveiled their new VPN service

Mozilla VPN servers are powered by Mullavad

And it’s something new. Though only Windows client has been rolled out, Linux and Mac client is on its way (No ETA though). You may think it’s yet another VPN service but you would be wrong! Mozilla actually custom coded on top of the Wire Guard protocol. The VPN service runs on more than 280 servers in over 30 countries. So there should be almost no performance hiccups and super-fast connections suitable for gaming streaming and other tasks. Mozilla priced their VPN service for $4.99 US. It’s now available for Android, iOS, and Windows.

Canonical and Google partners up to bring Flutter apps to Linux

Flokk app made with Flutter on Ubuntu

Canonical wants Linux to be a first-class platform for Flutter apps. They partnered with Google to bring the most popular application UI framework Flutter in the Linux app catalog. Already some apps have been released as a showcase to give an idea of how it will work.

Now, this is a big thing, because in the past, if an app had good UI, either it was Electron or some sort of Chromium app. And you know they suck. So Flutter can be used with native C, C++, or Dart code to make native apps that will be way lighter and beautiful. Developers will be able to use the same tools they used to make Android and iOS apps for development.

I’m so excited about this and I hope finally we will be able to have beautiful apps without sucky Electron BS. And, since ChromeOS is now fully run on Linux, they can benefit from it too. Canonical said “Here were a number of things about Flutter that were exciting for Canonical:

  • The fast-growing ecosystem of application developers
  • Multiple platform support
  • Highly optimized native applications
  • Modern UI framework supporting declarative, reactive and composable widgets
  • Rich development platform using Visual Studio Code, Android Studio and IntelliJ”

Did you see it? Android Studio? Will ChromeOS be added to Android Studio soon? Could be. But I’m excited to see how it goes.

You will now be able to run Android on Pinephones

If you own a Pinephone and you miss Google’s Android, now you can slap in some latest Android love on to your Pinephone. The GloDroid team will soon release an Android 10 build for Pinephone. Although it’s most likely that calling function won’t work and you will have no access to Google Play (you don’t need it though. If you need it, why did you buy a Pinephone?). GloDroid also has ports for Raspberry Pi, Orange Pi, and a handful of other ARM-based boards.

Google Chrome 84 is now available for Linux, Windows, and Mac – Major security fixes, update now

We asked Google to stop spying on me but in this release, All google has done is go as far as spending several thousands of dollars on bug bounty to find and eliminate several critical bugs that were lurking in the underlying codes ready to do something horrible. Google has fixed more than 30 security bugs as well as 7 major vulnerabilities in this release. It’s a very important update for Chrome users and if you are one of them, install the latest update now!

There are new PWA features. Devs can add shortcut icons for PWA’s. I think this is a very cool feature here how it works on Android :

This can now be enjoyed in the Desktop version too. Right-click to open the menu and you can see the shortcuts. There are also changes to website notification, so no more getting bombarded by website notifications. There are some new features for the devs too. New web animation API capabilities and Wake lock API. You can get the latest downloads from here.

Fedora is getting warmed up for a B I G release

According to Phoronix,

“Fedora 33 has seen 40 system-wide changes submitted and 18 self-contained changes. For the broad system-wide changes, at 43 it’s nearly double that of usual Fedora releases with the likes of F32 seeing only 23 changes or 21 for F31. The second highest release for a number of system-wide changes was 31 for Fedora 28… Seeing above 40 is rather historic as outlined by this mailing list post via Zbigniew Jędrzejewski-Szmek.” 

How to pronounce that name though? So this release is something big of a deal for Linus Torvalds’s favorite OS. They have also announced that Fedora will revert back Btrfs by default for its Desktop spins.

“Fedora 33 is currently scheduled to be branched in mid-August, a beta release in mid-September, and to aim for a release towards the end of October. Given all the changes expected, hopefully, F33 won’t be like Fedora releases of the past traditionally known for their drawn-out multi-week delays” writes Phoronix.

So, that’s it for the weekly nixFAQ News Roundup for this week. Here are the recap:

  • Riot changed its name again
  • Canonical partners with google to bring Flutter to Linux desktop
  • Mozilla releases its VPN for 4.99 with super speed and performance
  • You can run Android on Pine Phones with GloDroid soon
  • Google Chrome 84 comes with tons of critical security and bug fixes
  • Fedora 33 is getting warmed up for a big release

I think next week will be more interesting and we will get to hear more from the *nix world. Come back next week for more.

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