A few days ago, Ubuntu team has released Ubuntu 11.04 code named Nattry Narwhal. This release of Ubuntu has featured a newer desktop shell environment named Unity which was previously used for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition. The unity desktop environment looks a bit odd and painful at first to the users, however after spending a couple of hours with unity, it becomes very usual to work.
At my first thought about Unity, I found myself into a totally new world. By this time, I feel a bit anger about the Ubuntu team for using such a different environment than that of traditional GNOME based environment. However, after spending a couple of hours I felt like with the introduction of Unity in ubuntu, the Linux based desktop operating system has given a new and improved user interface to the world. Which, definitely will change the traditional type of environment and provide a fresh look to the users. Here are some of the changes introduced with the introduction of Unity:
The Unity launcher is far more different that the traditional windows type or gnome based launcher. It looks like a fancy dock that resides in the left part of the screen. Programs can be pinned or unpinned to the launcher. The launcher auto hides when you maximize the applications. To recover the launcher, just poke the left hand bar of your screen with the mouse.
OS X like Panel
With the introduction of Unity, ubuntu has moved to a bit near to Apple’s OS X. The global panel acts as a menu bar for applications and if no applications are open, then its just a panel with basic menus.
At first, this part is a bit more confusing for the users. The menu items for applications are only visible when you put cursor over the panel. However, introduction of such panel, adds extra space for the main application by removing the extra space occupied by menu bars in previous versions.
The top left corner of the screen consists of a Ubuntu icon, which on clicking opens the dash. This is one of the biggest improvement I have found on Unity. You can find any of your application just by typing the first some letters of application and when listed, you can simply open it by pressing tab key for selection and then enter key.
Besides these major changes in the Unity interface, there are several other changes such as Drag and Drop Support for applications. Improved look and feel of icons, Introduction of new applications and Improved accessibility to the programs and files.