As all of you know by now, Ubuntu’s Oneiric Ocelot crossed the first beta milestone on 1st September. The beta 1 brings quite a number of changes when compared to alpha 3. Here’s an overview:
Redesigned Dash: The Dash of Oneiric interface has gone a radical transformation when compared to Ubuntu 11.04. It has been given a sleeker look to integrate with the rest of the desktop. The application , folder and music search lenses are now integrated into the the dash.
The dash can now auto change colours depending on the background over which the dash is opened. This, I think is a very cool feature and helps it to blend in with the open windows.
|Dash changes colour wrt background|
The new dash also sports a big button on the launcher instead of the top left corner which was found in Ubuntu 11.04. The icon, as you can see on your right is not as elegant as the previous one. This, to me, looks like a stopgap for something more innovative which might appear in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.
|Application search lens|
|File & Folder search lens|
|Music search lens|
Software Center: The software center has gone through a complete overhaul. The new GUI looks much better than the old one and more user friendly. There’s also a new icon to represent the software center which you can see on your right. This icon has not been received well by the users.
|New software center|
alt+tab and alt+` : Oneiric Beta 1 also includes new alt+tab graphics which shows the changing of open windows. By default, only one window of each application is shown during alt+tab. If there are multiple windows of the same application, preview of each of them can be seen by pressing the down arrow key during alt+tab.
A new key combination, alt+` , has been included for displaying thumbnail of each open application.
Hidden window controls: Window controls have been hidden by default for maximized windows and are revealed on mouse-over, just like the menu.
|Hidden window control for full screen windows|
|Window controls exposed on mouseover|
Kernel 3.0.9: The latest version of linux kernel 3.0 is included in Oneiric Beta 1. This kernel however still does not address the power regression that is plaguing the linux kernel .
Firefox 7 which is still in beta has been included as the default web browser for Oneiric Beta 1. By the time Ubuntu 11.10 is available, Firefox stable version will be released.
Thunderbird 7 has been included as the default mail client instead of Evolution. Thunderbird however does not include the lightning addon installed with it. Lightning is the calendar addon which takes care of the meetings and tasks schedules.
Shotwell 0.11: The new Shotwell 0.11 which comes in with a lot of new features has been included in this Beta release.
The Libreoffice included in this release is 3.4.2.
The Oneiric Beta 1 includes the new rewritten Gwibber 3.0 which is lightning fast to start and has a refreshing look. The new Gwibber, however, is missing the separate streams option which was present in the previous version.
LightDM Login Screen: The new LightDM login screen has now taken its intended shape. The design is commendable . The screen looks quite sleek and sexy.
|LightDM login screen|
An important inclusion in this release is the new network manager (0.9) which allows certificate authentication for cisco vpns. This will be ideal for all those who use cisco vpn connection with certificate authentication at their workplace.
Installer option changes: Two new installer options have been included.
1. The installer now allows choosing wireless networks if the user is not connected to the internet.
|Installer searching for wireless networks|
2. The installer now allows the user to take a picture if a webcam is present or choose a custom picture to set it as the display picture of the user.
|Allowing users to take a snap|
Power Icon change: A new icon ,a punch of power off and settings icons have replaced the more traditional looking poweroff icon.
|New power off icon|
The new Messaging Menu now has a clear option to clear existing notifications.
Update: A video showing the changes in beta 1.You can subscribe to the youtube channel tuxtrixlive.