Element 1.7.8 is out!

September 29, 2020

Hello Element folks,

By the time you read this, desktop and web users should be on Element 1.7.8 (if not, please upgrade!)

We have a round up of highlights for you from the last few Element Web updates; 1.7.6, 1.7.7 and 1.7.8.

Welcome to the new info panel!

The big change in Element Web 1.7.6 is the new ‘info panel’ in rooms (on the right-hand side). Apart from being much cleaner, it gives more control and flexibility - particularly around the discoverability and use of widgets.

On the web and desktop versions of Element, the top right of the screen now shows a single ‘room info’ button that opens the info panel, rather than the old tangle of assorted buttons.

The panel shows who is in the room, the files in use and room settings. It also displays the room’s widgets, making it easier to add, edit and manage each one.

Massively improved widgets

All widgets can be accessed and displayed in the info panel. A simple ‘drag’ can resize the panel so it’s easy to ‘go big’ with a widget whenever you want.

You can pin widgets in the room as before, so they sit at the top of the discussion. Again, these are easily resized (at last!) as required.

So that you’re not constantly fiddling, when bouncing between different rooms the info panel remembers the set-up for each. You’ll find yourself revisiting familiar set-ups as you jump between rooms; think of it like customising physical rooms for different purposes.

No more Secure Backup on sign up!

Element Web 1.7.7 was just a couple of small fixes (scrolling in the room directory, and an issue with the limit of pinned widgets per room), so let’s not waste too much space on those, but Element Web 1.7.8 brings an improved ‘set up’ experience for Secure Backup.

Secure Backup has been moved out of the initial registration flow (for new users) to become a notification toast when a new user first encounters an end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) room. This makes registration and set up easier for them - one of the many improvements we’re making to smooth the ‘first time user experience’ (FTUE).

As always, you’re welcome to read the full changelogs on GitHub for Element Web and for Element Desktop and the underlying Matrix React SDK and Matrix JS SDK.

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