#Nextcloud is a massively important tool in my life, and a few of our family members as well. And the past few months have seen a lot of new functionality and two recent upgrades; time to explain some of the shiny bits.
Without doubt the dashboard has been the most-visible change. The dashboard allows some quick overviews of your cloud, and some external integrations. It does make the cloud rather slower, as it can increase loads on the server and some of the integrations rely on external servers. But it is pretty cool to have a list of upcoming items in your schedule, recent files, or even a snapshot of the weather. We are still experimenting with the external integrations - drop me a line if you know of one you would like to see available.
A ton of new features in the Nextcloud client help it integrate better with your operating system, but exactly which features vary between the OS. For MacOS there are tools to help link Contacts, Clients, and network drives, while some Linux desktop environments also add document and file integrations, for examples. More multimedia players can access content on your Nextcloud instance, turning it into a streaming server.
In addition to a webmail app, we have added a Matrix app as well. The web interface of Element is now available through our cloud. If you have never used it, [Matrix](https://matrix.org/ "Official site") allows strong privacy for text, audio, and video communications. You can join 'channels' for group chats in any (or all) of these mediums. Communications can be end-to-end encrypted, providing peace of mind. We have not had reports yet of server overload, but if it seems a bit sluggish or laggy please notify me!
Collaboration and progress
If you know what a kanban board is, then the Deck application will not need introduction for you - it is a collaborative version intended for coordinating teams, but also works as a personal tool.
If you do not know what it is, think of a kanban board as a way to group tasks and projects, track their progress and coordinate their assets. Cards represent work items, and move from left to right in columns indicating their progress. Cards can be grouped into 'swim lanes' moving across the board