The JIRA 7 release notes indicate there is a new sidebar but don't really explain what's new with it.
The only specific thing mentioned is that cross-project boards now have a sidebar, but it's simpler.
Really, much stuff was just redesigned. I don't think there is a bullet list and I'm not sure anyone can come in and get a bullet list of changes for you.
A major change is around how applications like JIRA Service Desk and JIRA Software integrate into the Project Sidebar.
Before this change,
After this change,
For instance, you can swap between boards on the sidebar, navigation through Scrum/Kanban is on the same sidebar as project settings etc.
Similarly Service Desk options are added in place of the usual 'Reports' and 'Issues' buttons on the Service Desk project sidebar.
I hope this helped a bit.
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