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Kano OS Beta 2.0.0 Released

What's new in the latest release of Kano OS

Today, we’re introducing the new Kano, a better, faster DIY computer kit based on Raspberry Pi 2. With it, we’re shipping a brand new version of the operating system, the much improved Kano OS Beta 2.0. Using the extra power of the new hardware, we pushed hard to make it the best one so far. Care to know what has changed? Check out this short summary.

Customisable characters

The new version of the OS introduces customisable characters, an entirely new feature to the Kano universe. You can change the appearance of your character from the profile app and it will sync automatically to Kano World. Put on a silly face, pick a fancy hairstyle or perhaps colourful attire? You decide!

The new character creator
Kano Profile: Which belt goes with this Kimono?

The character creator will pop up during the system on-boarding when registering your Kano World account, but you can also access it by clicking on the profile widget at the top left corner on the desktop. Don’t worry if you put on something else than you wanted, you can always change it later on.

Can’t decide what to wear? Try the randomise feature, we’ve had heaps of fun testing it.

Kano Draw becomes Make Art

Since the first version came out just before Christmas, Kano Draw has become one of the most popular levels on the OS. People have shared hundreds of drawings on Kano World: fiery dragons, pixel-art pokémons, fractal trees, an assortment of delicious-looking pizzas or The Eye of Sauron on top of Barad-Dûr, all made with code.

The new Make Art
Make Art: Slicker and more intuitive than ever.

Listening to your feedback and many feature requests, we thought a great deal about how to make the app even slicker and easier to use. In 2.0, we’re introducing Make Art: a much improved continuation of what Kano Draw started four months ago with a completely redesigned user interface. Unleash the artist within and learn a bit of CoffeeScript on the way with a brand new series of challenges!

Make Pong and Minecraft

Aided by the three new members of our web team, we made a series of improvements to Kano Blocks in both Pong and Minecraft. The logic behind the tooltip guides underwent a substantial refactoring, making them clearer and more robust in many cases. Next to zapping bugs, we focused on content, adding more options and improving the challenges in both.

Pong now features new Moshi Monsters sounds and environments from our friends at Mind Candy. So you can make Pong in a jungle or on a tropical island with a monster instead of the ball. Perhaps an inquisitive-looking purple furry creature or a happy red starfish?

Play Pong on a desert island
Make Pong: Now even on a desert island!

We’ve added an entirely new challenge to Minecraft and improved many of the existing ones. In the workspace, there are now lots more building materials to choose from that you can preview directly from the selector. Also the mechanism of switching between the game and the workspace has been improved, making it possible to go between them with just a single press of the <TAB> key.

Block previews New switching mechanism
Make Minecraft: Screencaps from the new version.

Redesigned WiFi configuration

Another part of the system we’ve revisited for this release is the WiFi setup. Kano OS Beta 2.0 comes with an entirely new graphical user interface for configuring your internet connection.

The new network configuration tool
Kano WiFi: The new interface.

While the old tool is still available, if you prefer the terminal, the new one will replace it during the on-boarding as well as in other parts of the desktop.

Updated on-boarding

Apart from the updated network configuration, the first boot setup now lets you create your character and choose one of eight colourful wallpapers to brighten up your desktop. We’ve also updated the introductory video at the end of the on-boarding sequence, explaining the latest additions to the UI.

We’ve spent some time refactoring the internals of the command-line user setup. You won’t notice this on the outside, but we’ll be opening its sources to contributors soon. Keep an eye on our Github if you wish to take a peek at how it works.

Summary

These were some the major improvements to Kano OS for the version 2.0. As always, a ton of smaller tweaks and fixes went unnoticed by this summary and you can find them in the much more exhaustive changelog on our forums. Thanks for your support, we hope you’ll like it!

To get the latest version of Kano OS, please run the updater on your Kano or download it from our website.

Do you have something to add? Discuss this post on talk.kano.me.

Written by
Software Engineer at Kano