On the October 19 newsletter, the elementary OS team has informed that Flatpak support is now enabled by default in elementary OS. This means, in addition to the curated applications available in the AppCenter, users can opt to install applications from the wide range of Flatpak repositories such as Flathub.org.

The Sideload App

The elementary team has created a brand new app named Sideload. This app is capable of handling flatpak repositories that can be obtained from 3rd party sites like Flathub.org.

Slideload in elementary OS Slideload App enables adding flatpak repositories

Sideload avoids the need for using terminal for using 3rd party flatpak applications. It also aligns with one of the design objectives of elementary OS. Once the repository (flatpakref) is added on Sideload, users can continue with the installation using AppCenter and the application will be installed in an isolated (sandboxed) environment and won’t affect the overall security of the system.

The AppCenter updates

The AppCenter has received some significant updates for supporting the flatpak application. It will list all the available flatpak applications, including the official ones and one obtained from 3rd party repositories added using Sideload.

The AppCenter will also list updates for both native packages and flatpak applications. If there are multiple versions available across the repositories, it will be properly grouped.

AppCenter updates enables animated preview AppCenter updates enables animated preview

In addition to the flatpak support improvements, AppCenter has some other updates like animated screenshots on the App preview page, the ability to uninstall applications even when not connected to the internet, and improved installation speed with updated PackageKit base.

For further information on elementary flatpak support, AppCenter updates and other improvements, see the elementary October 19 news letter.