Originally published at: Nextcloud Hub 7: advanced search and global out-of-office features - Nextcloud
Hello everybody! 👋
This year is nearly over and the last months have been busy! Our community, Nextcloud and Frank have been recognized for their accomplishments by the European Software Freedom award and, just last week, the Acteurs du Libre award. Meanwhile, our team keeps growing quickly; the company is on track to grow its customer base by over 60% with more than 5 million new users getting access to Nextcloud this year!
Though this isn’t all the news! Our yearly Nextcloud Conference was a great success and we just published a podcast interview with one of its keynote speakers: privacy lawyer Max Schrems.
In other really big news, open source email giant Roundcube also joined our wonderful Nextcloud community!
Today though, we’re diving into Nextcloud Hub as our 7th Hub release is shared with the world. We’re sure you are super excited to learn about all that is new, so let’s get to it!
Thank you all for your amazing support this year!
The Nextcloud team
Connected, efficient and productive
Today, we’re introducing our most integrated platform yet – Nextcloud Hub 7. Imagine your work space interconnected, with your files seamlessly accessible in Talk, your calendars integrated in Mail and your tasks visible in your Calendar.
Nextcloud is designed as a unified platform, bridging all the functionality you need to get your tasks done. With Hub 7 we improved our Unified Search which finds chat messages, emails, calendar items, documents and even external content like support tickets or memes. You can bring up search wherever you are in Nextcloud.
Another major improvement was done around your out-of-office status. This can now be configured in your availability settings. It is applied not only in an out-of-office email, but also in Calendar (with an automatic out-of-office Calendar item) and in Talk, where others get notified that you’re not around.
Are you the backup for your colleague that is on vacation? Covering for them has never been so easy. Find all items you two share in their profile via Contacts: files, tasks, events, emails, and more.
From new integration features to AI enhancements and a completely rewritten Files app, Hub 7 delivers the solutions you need to foster efficiency, collaboration and productivity. Read on to discover how you can transform your work through Nextcloud Hub 7.
Search everywhere with Unified Search
Unified Search brings items from all core apps and even external locations at your fingertips. Now you can find every file, task, or communication related to your inquiry through a single search box with convenient filtering at your disposal — all in one window.
Unified Search is accessible through the magnifier 🔍 icon on the toolbar’s top right corner. When searching for a popular item, it helps you stay in focused with adjustable date range. Filter search by people to find items belonging to selected authors.
🔎 Explore all of Hub…
Search and preview any items In Hub. Find apps and their contents, use multiple filters to narrow down or expand your search the way you need.
- Talk conversations and messages
- Deck boards and cards
…and beyond 🔍
Search in integrated locations like GitHub, GitLab, Giphy, Reddit, and more. Once a service is connected to Nextcloud Hub, a new search filter will be available in the list of possible search locations under “Apps and Settings”.
Find the Unified search bar with the 🔍 icon on the top right bar.
The out-of-office message that everybody catches
Embark on your next vacation – stress free. Set a out-of-office status that will pop up around Hub, letting everybody know you are away and who to contact instead. Configurable in the “Availability” section of your personal settings, your absence status will automatically be updated throughout the platform, with an auto-responder in Mail and a dedicated calendar event for your selected dates.
Add a catchy user status 💭
Use a short, custom message to notify everybody about your absence. It will work as a status message for your account visible everywhere under your name: user search results, profile, contact list, and more. Add an emoji to give it a personal visual twist! 👍
Get the details right 💌
Use the long description to give more details: absence period, status of your tasks, and a colleague or the team who will be your replacement. Even share some details about your vacation if you want to! Everyone is informed when you are back and whom to contact instead while you are away.
Your out-of-office message automatically takes over auto-responder during your holiday period.
Auto-responder also works in Talk chat, popping up to everybody who enters a private conversation with you.
A calendar event is also created for your absence period with your status as a title and full text in description.
So, next time you’re about to go on vacation, wrap up your work quickly with Nextcloud’s automated out-of-office features. Just provide a simple message and Nextcloud does the rest.
AI and Nextcloud Assistant
Our AI team at Nextcloud has an ongoing focus on research and a dedication to evolving our AI offerings thoughtfully with every release of Hub. With new challenges arising in AI, from privacy to Big Tech centralization and environmental considerations, we must not let users fear technology with such a great potential. Or worse — carelessly give away their data. Like everything else works in Nextcloud, we don’t stop with a cool feature — we keep bringing more to the table.
Welcome Aleph Alpha and local Stable Diffusion 🚀
We help our users make informed choices while expanding their options to power up the AI functionality in Nextcloud. In Hub 7, the available selection of models is updated with inclusion of Aleph Alpha, a Large Language Model developed in Germany that can be used by the Nextcloud Assistant. This option fits users who wish to use a remote AI services but be confident that confident their data remains in Europe.
Now, you can also run an on-premises Stable Diffusion model by Stability AI for local image generation.
All open source AI models available in Nextcloud
- Stable Diffusion
Costs under control 🪙
While running organization-wide AI is costly, we now give you more control over expenses with request limits. Define number of requests users can submit in the admin settings to make budget planning more accurate.
Task notifications 🔔
Depending on available resources, you may have a powerful AI engine delivering instant results or choose to limit its capabilities to reduce costs. Depending on your setup, the processing time varies. If instead of waiting the user chooses to be notified, they will receive a push notification on their mobile, desktop, or web interface letting them know that the task is complete.
What’s coming next? Context Chat 🧠
Our collaboration with the German state of Schleswig-Holstein is starting to deliver its first results. Today, we are releasing a tech preview of a powerful feature for the Nextcloud Assistant: Context Chat. This feature allows the Nextcloud assistant to refer to your emails, files, chat messages and more to answer your questions about these items. It allows you to query your own data, to present your personal and organizational context to an AI model and have it help you gain personalized, unique insights that are completely private, never sent to a third party unless you so choose. Storing the data in a local vector database, Context Chat works with most available large language models, both those you can self-host and some remote options.
Live Photo support on iOS
Want to save your Live Photos on your Nextcloud? Now it’s possible to upload and save live photos from your iPhone to Nextcloud, and view them in the Photos app. To enable this feature, just go to Settings → Advanced and select the “Live Photo” option. From there, you can upload any photo as normal and a live photo will appear with a special eye icon. The Live Photos can be seen on the Photos app where you’ll see a Play button in the photo.
Introducing EXIF metadata support
The Photos app now displays where and when your pictures were taken, if that data is available in its metadata. The EXIF metadata associated with each picture also contains information about photographs like the camera settings, time and date, and location, which we can show:
- The time and date the photo was taken
- A map of where the photo was taken (using OpenStreetMap)
- Information about the camera used i.e. type of camera and other technical details
In addition, your photos will be sorted according to the date each photo was taken, not when the Nextcloud file was created. This is especially helpful when you want to find a photo and can only remember when you took it. You can find your EXIF data once you’ve opened a photo and go to the sidebar under the tab “details.”
Let’s explore what’s new in Nextcloud Files, where your documents, videos and photos live. Nextcloud Files is a powerful document management system, making it easy to access, share and work with your documents wherever you are.
Files – now backed by Vue.js
The Nextcloud Files app has been rewritten, thereby migrating to Vue.js, a popular, modern web toolkit packed with possibilities. This brings a number of performance benefits you’ll appreciate:
- Preview loading and caching was improved and large folders also render a lot faster.
- A more accurate progress indicator with more information when uploading files, with also improved error handling
- We can more easily add integrations with other apps, again requiring less code to be loaded
A ton of small improvements all over the place was done, from little animations when you drag and drop files to tons of accessibility improvements that should help users who rely on a screen reader or keyboard control. A few examples:
- Support more actions with selections (add to favorites, restore from trashbin…)
- Better selection handling (shift + select to select range)
- Better error handling (if you have a selection and some actions fails, the failures will stay selected and the error message will tell you that some files had an error)
- New tags view
- Grid view support in all views (favorites, trash, recent etc)
- Unified design across all views
- Support remembering files settings per view (like sorting)
- Improved dark mode
Our goal was to make Files easier to maintain but keep the same user experience you know and love. So, while you won’t immediately notice a big change, we hope you’ll appreciate all the little touches!
For developers, the improved documentation should also help add things like file actions for example.
We hope you enjoy the new and improved Nextcloud Files.
Annotate your PDF!
Special in this release is PDF annotation support! Thanks to one of our amazing community members, it’s now possible to fill out a form or draw directly on a PDF right in your Nextcloud.
The next time you need to annotate a PDF, enable the freehand drawing feature or use text boxes to add information. Once it’s complete, you can save the updated PDF to your Nextcloud.
Customize your navigation bar
When you login to your Nextcloud, is your dashboard the first stop for you? Would you prefer Talk, Calendar or Files? With our new app order configuration, you can decide which app is the default when you login and when you click on the Nextcloud logo. You can also order the apps to have your most used apps to the left. Admins can also set some key apps in this order to ensure the experience is consistent across the server.
You can customize the order of your applications in the main navigation bar so you have your most used apps first.
Just click on your profile icon in the top right corner of your Nextcloud and select “Appearance and accessibility” for the navigation bar settings. You can easily move your apps with up and down arrows or drag and drop to find the perfect order for all your apps.
Comments and activity tabs in sidebar merged
One of Nextcloud’s most unique features in Files is the sidebar where you can see any activity on the document – like when and who did the last edit, any comments about the file, internal and external sharing options, and a tab for all the files versions. In the Hub 7 release, we decided to merge the “activity” and “comments” tabs so it’s easy to see both.
Nextcloud Office brings collaboration to a whole new level, with several new features
Nextcloud Office is more than creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Our Office stack also consists off:
The impressive Microsoft SharePoint Lists or Airtables alternative
The knowledge management space for your organization
The ideal note-taking app with simple features and markdown
The editor extraordinaire integrated in Nextcloud Deck, Files, Collectives and Notes
QR code generation 🔆
One of the simplest ways to share a survey or landing page is through a QR code. QR codes can be easily scanned on the go and are hassle free for most audiences. So, next time you’re planning an event or simply need to share the wifi password in your office – you can create a QR code directly in your Nextcloud Office document. Simply go to “Insert” and click “QR and Barcode” where a pop-up window will allow you to add a link and generate a QR or barcode link, as well as add other details.
Conditional formatting in spreadsheets 📊
Need to visualize a ton of data? Want to throw in some colors? Now in spreadsheets, you can select a single cell or range of cells of data and pair it with a color scheme to showcase your data more vibrantly and uniform. The conditional formatting feature is basically a way to adjust the style of a cell or range of cells based on its value. For example, if you have accounting data, easily visualize the ebs and flows of your expenses and profits by color. The conditional formatting feature is available through quick access menu in the menu bar with various presets to pick from.
Share your notes 📓
We often brainstorm ideas individually and drop them in our notes for a quick fix. But what if you want to share those brilliant thoughts and ideas with a colleague or friend? You can now share of one of your notes in the media tab on the right hand side of your notes. Share with a colleague or with somebody externally through a link just like you do in Nextcloud Files. You can even work together on the note!
Besides, now you have access to activity and versions in Notes directly from the sidebar.
Improved re-connection experience 🔄
It can be frustrating when you’re working on a document and have connection issues. Sometimes you’re traveling on a train and lose connection or you take a break from your laptop with a document still open and come back to it having to re-load it. With this release, we’ve made significant improvements to providing you a better re-connection experience. This will allow you to get straight back to work without having to re-load your document with any further delay.
Accessibility improvements 💫
We take accessibility seriously. Our goal is that everyone can enjoy the benefits of Nextcloud! For this release, we worked on much improved support for screen readers. This means more accurate reading of documents and access. Second, new keyboard shortcuts have been added that show up in yellow for easy access. Click on ALT to get hints for navigating though the menu with the keyboard.
For even more updates on new features, bug fixes and improvements, you can check out Collabora’s latest release.
New in Collectives
What’s new in the modern wiki-like knowledge base app Collectives? If you’re an avid user of Collectives, you’ll be glad to hear we’ve made some usability improvements.
Page in full width
Experience your Collectives pages in full width (like a full screen movie for effect!) to comfortably view bulky content like large tables.
Do you ever create a new page and find a better spot for it later? You can now move or copy pages to a new location, just like in Nextcloud Files. There’s super simple up and down arrows to reorder your pages just to where you like them.
Recent pages in Dashboard
In your Dashboard, you can add a new widget: Recent Collectives pages. Hop right back to a page you or others were working on in a flash.
Improved rendering of images and other files
- Improved image appearance and quality
- Improved preview and layout for printing
Nextcloud Groupware consists of Mail, Calendar and Contacts
Teamwork in Hub is as efficient as ever with the new Groupware features. Those include both platform-wide improvements and app-specific ones.
New in Contacts: Automatic “Busy” status and shared items
User profiles in contacts now display the items that you share with the contact — owned both by them and by you. Those include files, Calendar events, Talk rooms, and Deck cards. Quickly jump to any item by simply clicking on it.
User status also gets more automation and visibility. From now on, it is visible in the Contacts menu right away instead of the email. Statuses automatically change to “Busy” when a busy calendar event starts. If you have an absence period configured for a certain period of time, your status symbol and text will align with the out-of-office message you added.
Even more powerful Mail
Search in message body 🔎
Enable search in the body of Priority inbox emails to find everything you need in your communication history, even if it’s not mentioned in the title. Open Mail settings and tick the corresponding box on the very top to set up the feature. Quick search will include email body results as well as the title results.
This feature is not enabled by default as it sends the search request to your email server – and some can unfortunately be quite slow to respond.
Sorting by date ↕️
Need to sort your emails from oldest to newest for quicker access to older correspondence? With the new sorting setting, you can switch between two sorting modes to fine-tune your search results. Find the switch in the Mail settings on the top left of the Mail app interface.
Improved tag management 🏷️
Edit tag colors to visually categorize emails by your personal preference. Feel safe from accidental clicks: if you attempt to delete a tag, you will see a pop-up letting you know that it will disappear across the whole mailbox.
Smart picker and emoji picker 🤓
Create rich emails without leaving the message editor. Now you can use the Smart Picker feature and add emojis to your mails, just like you do in Text. To summon Smart Picker, just type “/” and choose from available options to insert: Talk rooms, Deck cards, Calendar events, GIFs, Files, Collectives pages, and much more. Start typing “:” to add an emoji — add an option from recent emojis or continue typing the full emoji name to find the one you need.
Smarter and brighter Deck
Card images, Completed status, and keyboard shortcuts: working with tasks in Deck becomes muck more intuitive and informative. Besides, we polished the card design to make them more compact and less distractive.
Card cover images 🌠
Deck boards have just become richer with cover images! An image will be picked automatically from the first image attached to the card. If there are no images, add one and it will be used as a cover without any need to put it in the description text. Enable cover images in Deck’s display settings on the top right.
“Completed” status ✅
You can also now mark cards as “Completed” to let yourself and others know that the work is done. When there’s a due date set for the card, it will keep you stress-free and your task planning transparent. You can then add the completed cards to archive if you wish to keep your board clean.
Keyboard shortcuts 🎹
In Deck, we also introduced keyboard shortcuts to helping you perform quick actions with cards and boards. To use a shortcut for a card, hover your mouse over it. To use board shortcuts, you only need the board page to be active.
Deck card shortcuts:
- Assign or unassign yourself: Spacebar
- Assign or unassign a team member: A
- Open a card: Enter
- Set due date: D
- Assign or unassign a team member: A
- Archive card: C
- Add tags/labels: L
- Quick edit card title: T
Deck board shortcuts:
- Create a new card: N
- Focus on search field: /
- Only show your cards: Q
- Open filter menu: F
- Clear all filters: X
Nextcloud Talk is the best chat and video communication tool that keeps your data yours!
Talk meetings and chats became much more alive and capable. We added many popular features based on user requests: from recording consent and ability to call phone numbers, to screen sharing speaker picture-in-picture and file captions.
Get personal with speaker video feed 🗣️
Personal connection is always there during the stream with a speaker picture-in-picture present on the screen even when screen sharing. Once your video is on, participants will be able to see you while you are showing your screen or running a slide show.
Recording consent 🤝
Recording consent for a meeting is a nice gesture to your guests’ privacy, but often it is also necessary to comply with your and their company regulations. Now you can request recording consent for your meetings, streams and online events to help everyone feel safe and secure.
Configure it in the conversation settings to apply the rule for all meetings in the current room. Participants will not be able to join the call unless they grant their consent via the pop-up window whether the call is currently being recorded or not. An administrator can export a list of people that consented with the recording from the command line.
Upon starting a call, you can enable the recording right away.
Invite to calls via phone number 📞
Now you can let everybody participate in Talk calls even without a camera, browser or even internet connection. Call one or multiple phone numbers right from the Talk room using Telephone dial-out.
This adds to the existing dial-in feature, where people can dial a specific phone number to join a Talk room.
You remain in full control to save money and keep your meeting organized. You can add users to the room using their mobile numbers, hang up or mute them during the call. The feature can be restricted to selected user groups to keep the costs under control.
The telephone dial-out and dial-in features requires an enterprise SIP setup.
Guest names in meetings 🤳
Avoid awkwardness and the struggle to find call participants with custom guest names during large calls and webinars. Talk now asks external users to give a name before joining so everybody in the room knows who is who.
Link to call in notifications 🔔
When a meeting including you starts in Talk, you will get a direct call link in the Notifications, so you can join immediately without navigating rooms and buttons. Stress-free communication is what we designed Talk for!
Animated reactions 💫
Animated reactions in video calls adds a little magic to your meetings. React with an emoji from the toolbar and see what happens!
Note to self 📝
The new “Note to self” chat in Talk is your personal safe space in Talk. Use it as a diary or a place to store links and assets, or forward important messages from colleagues to quickly find them later. What’s more, you can add bots, change the avatar and pick a new name, just like in any other Talk room.
File captions 🔠
Sharing files in chats is more convenient with file captions. When uploading media, you can write a message describing what it is or what tasks are associated with it. It works the same with text messages — add a file while writing and it will be attached to the message.
Nextcloud Hub is a powerful application platform, closely integrating with tons of third party applications and tools. Take a look at what’s new!
- Use this German alternative to OpenAI with Nextcloud Assistant
- Get results with this multi modal large language model (LLM)
- Easily generate the perfect memes for your chats, emails and documents
- Fill in custom text captions using the Smart Picker functionality
New app ecosystem – examples provided!
In our last release, we introduced our new app ecosystem and all the new possibilities to create apps in any programming language of your choice. To take it a step further, in this release we’re providing some example apps to help anyone get started.
Besides everything currently supported in the Open Collaboration Services API, like accessing and sharing files for example, you can now also implement these 3 features in your new app:
Example in Python that converts a mp4 to a gif
File action menu item
Example in Python that uses AI to increase the resolution of pictures
Example in Python that implements the Nextcloud Assistant as Talk bot
Note: we are working on more capabilities and you can suggest more on GitHub.
How to get Hub 7
Get Nextcloud Hub 7
Download and install Nextcloud Hub 7 here!
You can download the latest Nextcloud Hub 7 from our install page right now! There you can find a zip file or the all-in-one image for fresh installation.
Over the coming weeks we will make it available to our home users via updater using the usual staged roll-out. If you can’t wait you can switch to the beta channel temporarily. Don’t forget to switch back to stable after you updated to Hub 7!
Note: Your Nextcloud caches the results coming from our updater server, so it can take some time for the new version to show up and you likely have to refresh the page, wait a bit and do that again.
For new Nextcloud All-in-One (AIO) users, you can install Hub 7 directly by checking the box “Install Nextcloud 28” 🎉
For existing AIO users, we have a guide for you! Follow along to set it up today! 🎉
The Nextcloud Enterprise version of Hub 7 will become available in about 4 weeks, once the additional testing and certification are complete.
Join our webinar!
If you want to learn even more, register now for our webinar on January 24th, 2024 at 15:00 CET!
Thank you to our community! 💙
Nextcloud would not be the same without our dedicated, encouraging community. A huge thank you to the thousands of community members for making this release the best it can be and continuing to show your talents and passion for Nextcloud. 👏🥳
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