Announcing Nextcloud Hub 3 - Brand New Design and Photos 2.0 with Editor and AI

Announcing Nextcloud Hub 3

Watch the video announcement:

https://www.youtube.com/AjJ81xjUkdk

Today’s a very important day in the world of Nextcloud.

As we kick-off our first in-person Conference since 2020, we have the privilege of sharing our latest release with you.

Nextcloud Hub 3 has a major focus on digital well-being. Many of us spend countless hours in front of our computers, so it’s vital we feel good and have fun doing it. That’s why we are introducing a brand new design to the Nextcloud interface.

Think fresh, accessible, and personalized. A new era of your Nextcloud interface.

Nextcloud has grown to be the largest self-hosted collaboration platform in the industry. However, our mission is not to be the biggest – it’s to provide you digital sovereignty and help you take back control over your data.

With Nextcloud, users can share, discuss, and collaborate on documents, track and coordinate work, or organize video calls.

From government entities like the German federal government to educational institutions like in Sweden, more and more of society is regaining control of their data and entrusting us with the tools, resources and services to achieve digital sovereignty. And that is great news! But we have more…

Brand new design

Our design always followed three principles. Focus on content, ease of use, and great accessibility. For this refresh, we added a fourth: make it your own. Here’s what’s new:

  1. Personalization. You could already pick a personalized background for the dashboard. But now, your new background of choice is visible in all your apps! It’s subtly in the background so you’re not distracted while still providing a theme and atmosphere that fits best for your working style.
  2. Universal access is very important to us. We strive to follow today’s web standards and make sure everything is usable for everyone. We provide mouseless options, assistive software such as screenreaders, light and dark modes, keyboard shortcuts, and a font for people with dyslexia.

All you have to do to create your own personlized Nextcloud is select the “Appearance and accessibility” option under your icon on the top right hand side of your Nextcloud.

Photos 2.0

To many people, photos are some of the most important data. They carry memories, hold deeper meaning, and allow us to share our lives with family and friends.

Where photos used to be personal, and kept in photo albums, these days our photos are ‘floating in the cloud’, under control of big tech firms and their photo management software. With AI looking through it, analysing and checking. We think we all deserve better.

For that reason, we want to provide you with the best photo management experience possible, without compromising any of your security. Unlike closed and proprietary platforms’ photo apps, your photos won’t be surveilled or accessible to third parties. And yet it gives a wonderful experience!

Let’s see what is new and improved in Photos 2.0.

1. New tile view for all your photos

The new tile view is modern, intuitive, and appealing to the eye. Plus, there’s a huge performance improvement to make your experience quick and easy to use.

2. Photo Albums with Sharing Options

Highly desired by our community is having the ability to create photo albums. Now you can have all your photos from a trip, party, or season in one place. Futhermore, you can share the album with others using a public link so they can add their photos too.

3. Built-in Photo Uploader

Upload your local photos directly from the Photos App! Now any photos on your device can be easily  uploaded, stored, and organized.

4. Photo Editor

Photo editing is now simpler than ever. Nextcloud’s new built-in photo editor includes all the features, filters, and common edit operations you need to create a stunning image!

5. AI-powered automatic face and object recognition

Nextcloud Photos will automatically tag photos, recognizing cars, trees, food and more. But not just objects – also faces! It will group them in the People tab and allow you to name them. Then, you will be able to search for pictures of cars or your favorite people!

Object and face recognition uses a neural network that runs on the server, so rest assured it does not send any data to third parties.

Nextcloud Talk improvements

The Nextcloud Talk experience has greatly improved in design and accessibility. We have paid particular attention to digital well-being, aiming to help you shield yourself from all digital noise.

In your chat messages, pasted links instantly transform into widgets that give a rich view of website links, videos, tasks from Deck cards and more. They’re much nicer to look at and pop out so you won’t miss another link or task again.

In today’s digital reality, there’s countless distractions coming in from all directions, keeping you away from the actual work you need to do. While keeping your mental health in mind, you’re now able to start a call or send messages that do no generate notifications. Send call notifications to the few people you need to talk to in a big group, and not disturb the others.

You can also configure your working hours so colleagues know when they can book meetings with you. Wind down by automatically enabling a do-not-disturb option outside of the working hours you choose.

There’s so much more you can do with the new Talk. Be sure to also look out for:

  1. Message expiration
  2. Uploading Nextcloud documents, spreadsheets, presentations and other files directly from your chat bar
  3. Option to create a poll – ask your team how their day is going!
  4. SIP dial-in improvements
  5. More granular chat permissions

Groupware Improvements

Mail 2.0

Mail 2.0 debuts a much-improved performance and updated user interface with easily accessible quick actions, mail content preview in the sidebar, a streamlined account setup wizard and integrated support for replying to calendar invitations.

Viewer integration enables users to view attachments without having to save the file or leaving the Mail app. We also introduced out-of-office setting and the signature settings have been improved and now support rich text signatures, including images. Outside of Mail, the calendar app introduces the duplication of events and improved appointment booking page.

Contacts

The Contacts app introduces an organisational chart view. The organisation chart is built automatically from the “manager” property in the address book and shows user name, avatar and job title, plus the reporting organization. The view supports zoom, pan and going back to the view of an individual person by clicking the user avatar.

Performance & Security

Over 30 improvements to the Nextcloud core were made to upscale performance.

Most notably, the load of some operations was reduced by 90% or more, adding up to a 20% faster propfind, one of the most common operations. Users will certainly notice that application loading time was reduced by 30%.

With growing concerns about the energy usage of data centres, improving the performance of Nextcloud servers has been a key concern for us. This release once again cuts database load and improves page load by 25-30%.

— Jos Poortvliet, Director Marketing at Nextcloud

Security is incredibly important for Nextcloud users. Without security, you cannot have privacy or compliance! This release comes with improvements to our server-side and end-to-end encryption technologies.

  • Server-side encryption reduced data usage by 33% and introduces support for S3 primary storage and group folders.
  • The end-to-end encryption performance impact was reduced by 75% and key management for users was introduced in the user settings.
  • System administrators can now configure which users and clients are able to use end-to-end encryption.
nextcloud-talk-25 mockup

A Word on
mobile Apps

With this release also come major improvements in the mobile and desktop clients, bringing Nextcloud Dashboard widgets to mobile devices.

This means Android and iOS users can now add any number of Nextcloud Dashboard widgets to their phone screen, for example:

  • Recently updated status
  • Recently changed or updated files
  • Recent chat messages, emails, notes, and more!

Android also introduces a new image gallery view, while iOS brings unified search, support for file locking, a new PDF viewer and Files view, updated share view and more. The Windows client is introducing thumbnails for virtual files in Windows next to a host of smaller improvements.

Nextcloud team at work

Exciting new Integrations

With the aim of improving interoperability with other platforms, Nextcloud works closely with other companies in the collaboration space. This release highlights deeper integrations with:

  • Zimbra  → Zimbra chat and email integrated with Nextcloud
  • Cisco Webex → View and edit documents collaboratively while working on Webex
  • NUITEQ Stage → Use a whiteboard for better collaboration during a video call
  • OpenProject → An array of options like linking files and folders with work packages in OpenProject
  • Google Drive → Import your Google calendars, contacts, photos and files into Nextcloud
  • Microsoft OneDrive → Automatically import your OneDrive files into Nextcloud

Plus, with several other integration projects in progress.

Nextcloud is used in a wide range of environments, creating a need for interoperability with other software. The open source strategy of Nextcloud uniquely positions it to deliver on those needs and offer integration with solutions from other vendors.

— Daphne Muller, Manager alliances, ecosystem & support at Nextcloud

Intelligence & Beyond

Computers are like bicycles to the mind, as quoted by Steve Jobs in 1990. They drive a new kind of efficiency that are capable of providing for our instant needs at any occasion and time. For example, if we want to find all the photos with our friend in it, our wish is the computers command. The image recognition feature in Photos does this now, integrating with universal search. Type car and pictures of cars will appear – if you have any. Our AI is also used in the Music app, recognizing the genre of the music that plays.

Other features were there for a while – recommended files on top of the files app, recommended people to share with, based on whom you share with often. And of course our neural network powered suspicious login detection, now a default feature of Nextcloud Hub 3.

In this latest release, Nextcloud works on this notion by creating and further enhancing features that will make your productivity skyrocket.

Look at the side bar in this document. You’ll now see a whole new section of “related resources.” Having this document open will give you quick flexibility to jump to other resources that enable you to get your work done more efficiently.

At Nextcloud, we are constantly searching for new ways to make your collaboration even more intuitive. We hope that Related Resources will bring more context to your work and help you be more efficient!

Now let’s change the world

This is our biggest step forward. A huge thank you to our community for collaborating with us to create the best on-premises collaboration platform in the world!. Without you, our user experience would suffer. For all our consumers, the companies, government and public organizations, schools and universities that aspire to progress, thank you for trusting Nextcloud as your collaboration platform. We hope you enjoy all this new release has to offer.

Upgrade now

Get Nextcloud Hub 3

This release is available as a release candidate and many of the most popular apps on our app store have been updated by their app authors in the past weeks.

The final release is expected in a few weeks time.

Following our incremental release model, the weeks after the final release, the Nextcloud developers will enable the updater to offer Nextcloud Hub 3 to a steadily increasing percentage of the installed server base.

Users can join the testing right away by enabling the ‘beta’ channel in the updater and reloading the page or manually executing the upgrade steps. Nextcloud will tell you if your installed apps have newer versions available, and alternatively, you can also force enable apps that have not yet been tested and released by their author for the latest Nextcloud version. Typically, apps will work with occasionally minor functional limitations.

Originally published at: Announcing Nextcloud Hub 3 - Brand New Design and Photos 2.0 with Editor and AI - Nextcloud

6 Likes

How does Photos 2.0 sort pictures? By Exif date or file date?

@sven1234 Exif sorting is listed on feature requests.

So a picture taken in September 2019 and edited in November 2022 will be found in November 2022 - as if I would use the files app?

And additionally at the moment in nextcloud 25rc2 the sorting seems to be wrong for me.

If scroll down my pictures I see

  • September 22
    • oldest in september
    • newest in september
  • August 22
    • oldest in august
    • newest in august

Anybody else thinks this is not intuitive? Don´t want to create an issue without feedback.

3 Likes

Actually, I’d like more example if that is cool. Could you include any screenshots, or maybe a quick pen mock up of how you would prefer to see it.

If I understand your description the photos are sorted by two different principles:

  • months (and I assume also year) starting with most recent at the top
  • within month the order is the opposite, starting with oldest at the top.

I think you are right, this is not intuitive.

6 Likes

This line is likely the culprit:

at least it’s used by the timeline view and returns photos in descending order of their lastmodified date.

1 Like

cc @skjnldsv @artonge

A post was split to a new topic: Setting up S3 Object Storage as primary storage, but confused by documentation

Hi there,
I created some wiremocks for it. Sorting is according to what @rollanders described.

This is the current sorting:

And I assume the following would be correct. From my point of view this is also the sorting within most other timeline based photo application (apple fotos, sonoloy photos, google photos…) I know.

Best,
Christian

5 Likes

@artonge If you have any suggestions let me know and I can create a pull request

Yes, I have the same issues. The sorting still seems to be in a beta stage. It also suddenly jumps and adds entries before the viewing date and jumps to different times. Hope that is sorted out in the next release candidate. Otherwise, the new Photos interface looks way better now. What I really still do not understand: It seems that all apps are using different preview files or have to generate them still. The preview generator created all previews, but when I open the Photos app, it seems to create its own previews then. Will be interesting when it comes to storage consumption and computing times for my 200k pictures :slight_smile:

1 Like

Yes you´re right. It seems to load the original files.

In my case, it is not the original files, but a preview with 256 height. When you right click on the previews and open it in a new tab, you can see the actual pictures size. But they vary from 256 px height to 1040 sometimes, which was not a value of my preview generator. The media handling could be a bit more streamlined on nextcloud, that would save storage, computing times and confusion (at least in my case). But the strange behaviour from the Photos app is the refresh with the lazy loader. It jumps and adds picture amounts to a place that I overscrolled (seen before) already.

1 Like

@AndyXheli Yes please ! Any PR is welcome in anycase :slight_smile:
You can start by looking there:

I cant’t find sortFilesByTimestamp anymore. Either it does not exist, and the .sort is not using it. Or it exists but the logic is wrong.

2 Likes

Photos, and other apps should use the same preview files. Some optimisation work was also done recently to limit the number of different requested sizes, to reduce the number of different previews for a given file. If this is not the case somewhere, the feel free to open a PR or at least an issue. :slight_smile:

1 Like

What impact do new features (Nextcloud Office, facial recognition, machine learning) have on performance to an existing installation of Nextcloud?

we did heavy work on performance, you will notice that nextcloud 25 is significantly faster and snappier than older versions

4 Likes

Thanks for the reply :wink: and thanks to all Nextcloud teams that make possible Nextcloud Hub 3.

But my question is about what impact on resource consumption(cpu,ram) the new features of facial recognition, machine learning and Nextcloud Office have on a Nextcloud installation with hundreds or thousands of users and hundreds of GB of stored data. Make myself understood?

PD: Again thanks for your amazing work!!! I’m a very happy Nextcloud administrator :blush:

2 Likes