op!_OS has been my daily driver until I recently switched to Linux Mint to experience Cinnamon.
If you’ve got used Pop!_OS by System76, you almost certainly know that it’s supported Ubuntu releases with LTS and non-LTS editions.
Pop!_OS Will Be Having Cosmic Desktop Environment In The Upcoming 21.04 Release
While I always believed that Pop!_OS does a couple of things better than Ubuntu, they also announced that they’re crafting a separate Desktop Environment ‘COSMIC‘ supported GNOME.
Pop!_OS already offered an honest vanilla GNOME experience with some refinements and now that they need a replacement desktop environment to specialise in , it should be exciting!
COSMIC Desktop Environment for Pop!_OS 21.04
The COSMIC desktop environment will debut with Pop!_OS 21.04, which is planned for release in June.
The design seems to be taking cues from GNOME 40 but with tweaks by System76 that you simply may need to see with Pop!_OS 20.04.
As per the announcement, System76 mentions:
We’re providing a honed desktop user experience in Pop!_OS through our GNOME-based desktop environment: COSMIC. It’s a refined solution that creates the desktop easier to use, yet more powerful and efficient for our users through customization. The new designs are developed from extensive testing and user feedback since the Pop!_OS 20.04 release, and are currently being further refined in their testing phase
Even though the planning has not been finalized yet, they need to share some initial tips that could what we will expect. Here’s a brief video shared by them within the blog post (re-uploaded here)
As you’ll notice, there are two separate views for workspaces and applications, unlike GNOME 40.
Also, a dark mode to form things prettier and clear within the applications’ menu.
Not to forget, the horizontal dock. With Pop!_OS 20.04, you probably did not have any dock whatsoever. But, as per their survey, it’s like more users tend to wish the dock (but I did not).
The dock appearance and its behaviour are going to be customizable alongside the power to auto-hide the dock, which I prefer.
In addition to the interface tweaks, they decide to polish the experience for both mouse-driven and keyboard-driven workflows.
Unfortunately, you can’t get your hands on the COSMIC desktop yet. But, they’re trying to find Windows and macOS users to urge a firsthand experience for a user study, which should be incredibly useful.