The GNOME people provided a new release, 3.12. While not new, the major highlights of this release are the Web and Software apps. (Yes, they name the product like the class of products it is in. If they made a game, its name would be Game.)
First, let's get Web (ex-Epiphany) out of the way. It is the single best UI for a web browser out there. Highly minimalist, it hides the tabs and (most importantly) the URL bar when it isn't necessary (ie, most of the time). And yet, it is a very capable browser with a lot of features.
The major app, however, is Software. It is not your usual app store. Instead of requiring a curation process, it relies on different pools of software: Ubuntu's repository sources.lists, Red Hat's rpm repositories, even app-specific repositories such as Google Chrome's. Instead of relying on a single package manager, it relies on plugins to talk to each individual package manager, be it dpkg (apt), rpm (yum), <insert your favorite package manager> (although my favorite, nix, doesn't seem to have one yet). It seamlessly supports installing and updating software, regardless of your system. The only little issue is that software providers have to produce an AppData file, which provides a description, screenshots, and more.
That is the future of package management on Linux, and it is already ready to use. It is somewhat impressive that, since PackageKit's inception in 2007, both GNOME with Software and KDE with Apper decided that this was good and settled with it; I wish Linux distributions would forget about their custom apps and use those. Apper is, however, severely lacking in visual appeal. Software is, by comparison, magnifiscent.
I have to add, however, that the simplistic gradients used everywhere in the GNOME desktop, from the gradient to black on the app icon at the top left to the abrupt gradient to white at the top right and on active apps' icon on the dash, really look cheap. Given that other visual components such as tabs have been greatly improved, and given that, for instance, the new app folder feature has a tasteful gradient-based outline, there is hope there…
: Web: https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Web
: Software: https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Software