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Kano OS Beta 3.4.0 Released

What's new in the latest release of Kano OS

The brand new Kano OS (Operating System) 3.4.0 is out now!

Since revamping Kano OS for the Raspberry Pi 3 with OS version 3.0.0, we’ve been testing the OS with hundreds of kids and incorporating all the feedback that we’ve received into the smoothest Kano OS experience yet.

What’s new about OS 3.4.0

New story mode map

From the very start of the creation of the story mode, we were looking to provide an experience which could guide you through the computer, teaching the fundamentals of computer science and expose the underlying mechanisms that make all computers work. Throughout the journey, we’ve been adding new maps to unlock more and more of your Raspberry Pi and trying to think of the ways that each component on the board can both be represented within the story and how we can link the real hardware with the on-screen environment. With the new release, you can delve into the audio jack to learn about how music is created, venture inside the HDMI port to unlock the secrets of your display and peruse the power port to uncover the mysteries of electricity. We’ve tried to draw analogies to the board and, if you look carefully, you’ll see many details reflected in the world. As you explore the new areas, look out for the chips around the lighthouse which are modelled off the real-life chips on the board!

Collect all the codex items to become a Kano master

A goal of the story mode has always been to provide a conduit to accumulate knowledge, and enjoy yourself while you are doing so! We try to do this through quests, character interactions and, for the first time, you can collect items to fill up your codex; complete your collection to boost your understanding of everything happening within your computer and become a Kano master. As a team, we have always loved searching RPG worlds for items in an attempt to bring that completion percentage to 100% and we hope to instil that hunger for full completion in all our users.

After all this, our designer, James, wanted to flex his creative muscles so when you’ve come to a long day of exploring the ever-expanding world, settle down for the night in the brand new dormitory and check out the ingenious method he has used to make the beds look realistic.

As you boot up your computer, the dashboard appears to consolidate all the greatest parts of Kano. We did this to make it as quick as possible to go from booting your Kano to landing inside your favourite app. With this latest update we have refined this to provide a more natural-feeling home screen with more apps at your fingertips. Now adapting more naturally to different screen sizes and has a better, a clearer interface. With its funky new wallpaper and its stylish new design, you’ll be launching your apps quicker than ever before.

Restyled dashboard

To complement the sleeker dashboard, the notification system has been completely redesigned to alert you whenever you earn a badge, level up or when your friends have messages for you. The notifications are no longer restricted to the desktop mode and will now alert you at the exact moment that you achieve them. This has been a problem ever since migrating to have the dashboard and story mode - these apps are drawn directly by the GPU so would draw themselves directly over the notifications! This meant that we had to restrict the notifications themselves to only show when there was no chance of them being covered up, however with the new notification system (written with the same Qt framework used to code the dashboard itself), we no longer have this problem; the change even solves a problem that we’ve never been able to solve: displaying notifications on top of Minecraft. All these changes to the notification system boil down to them being more integrated than was ever possible.

The new notification format

On top of all this there are a whole bunch of bug fixes and a heap of refinements which make this OS our best yet!

How to Update:

Make sure you power up your kit and it is connected to WiFi. From your home screen, click “Update Now” on the notification that should appear on the right:

Update from the dashboard

When in Classic Mode, you can update from the menu:

Update from the desktop

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Written by
Software Engineer at Kano