Flatpak developers do not rest, and already present a list of features for future versions of the software.
The development of flatpak is advancing at a rapid pace. It's not been long since we made a article listing all the news from version 1.5 of the software. So shortly thereafter, we have news of what is being prepared for version 1.6. If you don't know what this flatpak guy is, This one and This one Articles can shed light on what we're talking about.
Before I tell you what's new, so everyone can understand what it's all about, we need to know Portals. It is a high-level API responsible for granting access to software and hardware resources for sandboxed applications. Like the case of flatpaks. One of the main features of Portals is not granting any permission on its own, thus always allowing the user to decide whether or not to allow access to a particular resource.
Portals is already present in flatpak, not new to version 1.6. However, the enhancements I will mention below are directly linked to it. Now for the news:
It is the implementation of a Portal for confidential information. This Portal will provide a master password for the sandbox application, which will be used to protect sensitive information about the app, such as user passwords. This information will be stored in an encrypted file inside the sandbox. This master password will be stored on the system keychain, thus allowing the user to unlock it through the password that he has set for the keychain.
Prior to the implementation of this functionality, the application's secret contents were protected directly by the system keychain, and this information was left behind when the application was uninstalled. Now, the system keychain will only keep the file encryption key inside the sandbox, so when the application is uninstalled, the encrypted file containing the information will be deleted as well.
Secret Portal is already implemented to work with GNOME Keyring. Developers from other graphical environments are welcome to contribute to the implementation of their password manager.
Interested parties can check out talk about it (in English), taught by Secret Portal creator Daiki Ueno himself.
Currently apps installed on flatpak need to be updated manually. This can be done through utilities such as GNOME Software, KDE Discover, or via the command line. Through the new implementation, each application will be able to find out if there are any updates available on the remote from which it was installed, thus asking flatpak to perform this update automatically. Something slightly similar to automatic app updates performed by Google Play on android.
Since this process will be done through a Portal, the user can choose whether or not to enable this feature.
To perform these new functions, Portals will need to be running in the background at all times whenever a flatpak application is running. For this, the Portal needs information from the composer about which windows are open. This feature is already implemented for GNOME Shell. Developers of other DEs are more than welcome to contribute to the integration of such functionality.
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I see that Flatpak is growing at a very fast pace. It has not been a long time since I first heard of the format, and nowadays there are distros completely focused on its use. Like Fedora Silverblue, for example.
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