After nearly four months of development, WordPress 4.1 Dinah in honor of jazz singer Dinah Washington, is available for download. Led by John Blackbourn, 4.1 contains several improvements such as a new default theme, an improved distraction free writing experience, and plugin recommendations.
TwentyFifteen – new default theme in WordPress 4.1 Dinah
In sharp contrast to Twenty Fourteen, Twenty Fifteen is light in color with a left hand sidebar and content in the right column.
It’s designed with a mobile first approach and looks great on various screen sizes. Twenty Fifteen looks best when using large, featured images. It also ships with five different color schemes, ranging from dark to pink that are accessible from within the theme customizer.
When you browse to the Add New plugins screen, you’ll see a new Recommended tab.
Recommendations are based on data from thousands of WordPress sites about plugins that are commonly used together. It’s similar to an online store’s “people who bought this also bought this” feature. Because of the strict data set used, plugins that are 3-4 years old or older won’t be recommended.
When you enable Distraction Free Writing mode, the surrounding interface disappears as you type leaving important actions and menu items just a mouse movement away.
This mode minimizes distractions without having to go through a clunky transition to access the admin menu or meta boxes. To bring back the menu and meta boxes, move the mouse cursor to the left or right of the editor.
WordPress Session UI
WordPress 4.1 includes a new Session UI. The UI shows up on the profile page when WordPress detects more than one active session. When pressed, the button logs out of every session except for the active one. This is useful for those times when users might have forgotten to log off from a laptop, phone, or public computer.
Inline Image Editing Tools
When editing an image using the Visual editor, a set of inline editing tools appear above the image. These tools provide a quick and easy way to align an image or access additional editing options.
Oembed support added for Vine
WordPress 4.1 has oEmbed support for Vine which hosts short videos that continuously loop. Sharing a Vine is now as easy as copying and pasting the URL into the Visual editor.
Site Language Picker in WordPress 4.1
You can now choose a language for your site at any time by visiting the General Settings screen. Choosing a different language installs the required language pack.
WordPress 4.1 Dinah is the product of dedicated developers and 283 contributors. The ability to choose a language without having to touch a line of code is a great improvement. The default theme is refreshing compared to Twenty Fourteen and users have an entire year to manipulate the design. While some users will see the new Distraction Free Writing mode as a distraction, others will enjoy its convenience.