Lenses and Interface Changes
11.10 includes a new release of compiz and Unity. Highlights of this release are:
- A new Alt+Tab switcher.
- "Places" are renamed to "Lenses". This feature now also integrates multiple sources and advanced filtering options like ratings, range, and categories.
- The Dash has a new music lens, linked to Banshee, that searches your personal and online music collections.
- Better performance of launchers and panel, ported to GTK 3 and GTK 3-based indicator stack.
- Full support for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other script languages.
Unity 2D reduces the delta with Unity, shares more code with it, and has an almost completed accessibility support set of features.
The indicators got a visual refresh that includes a refactoring of the session indicator and a new power indicator.
The Ubuntu Font Family, developed under the guidance of the Dalton Maag type foundry and the Canonical design team, has been expanded with Ubuntu Mono and Ubuntu Condensed.
Ubuntu Software Center 5.0
11.10 includes Ubuntu Software Center 5.0, featuring a completely revamped interface that provides a simpler and more enjoyable experience for browsing, searching, and managing your software. The navigation tree view pane from previous Ubuntu Software Center versions has been replaced by a much cleaner toolbar approach for navigating between views. Top-rated applications are now displayed prominently in the main view as well as in category views, leveraging the extensive database of excellent review data that has been provided over the past year by the Ubuntu community.
Application list views can now be dynamically sorted by top-rated, by name, and also by the date the application appeared in the Center. A dynamic banner has been added to the main view that will serve to highlight interesting new applications as well as themed collections. These banners will be updated regularly, and this, along with the dynamic What's New and Top Rated sections, should help to ensure an interesting and fun experience each time you open Software Center.
Last but not least, OneConf is now built in to keep your installed applications in sync between multiple computers. To activate it, use "File ? Sync between computers…".
New ARM subarchitectures
Ubuntu 11.10 introduces two new desktop images for ARM subarchitectures: armel+ac100 for the Toshiba ac100 netbook (NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC), and armel+mx5 targeted at the Freescale i.MX53 Quick Start development board. Both of these images are "best-effort" community-supported images aimed at developer and hobbyist use.
Revised DVD content
In Ubuntu 11.10 there is now a revised, smaller (in size) DVD based on community feedback over the last few cycles. This new DVD has a more manageable size of 1.5G, and is an extension of our current CD image that includes all the language packs and some other useful applications, such as Inkscape, GIMP, Pitivi, and a more complete LibreOffice suite. All the packages that used to be on the DVD are still available from the archive.
New App Developer Site
Coinciding with the Ubuntu 11.10 release, a significant milestone in the ongoing effort of making Ubuntu a target for application developers has also been reached: the Ubuntu App Developer site launch.
developer.ubuntu.com should now be the central point of reference for any topics related to Ubuntu application development, from creation to publication: porting, sharing, contributing, and finding information. This site should grow organically to provide the tools, share knowledge, and act as the springboard for fostering application proliferation and developer community growth.
New Localized ISO Tools
Ubuntu now provides a set of tools for Ubuntu LoCo teams to create custom images to provide an experience even closer to the culture of the region they cover. After setting the foundations in Ubuntu 11.10, in the next cycle we plan to work with the community on expanding community usage.
Thunderbird is included as the default email client. This now includes menu and launcher integration via Unity.
Backups are easy in Ubuntu 11.10 now that Déjà Dup is included as the default backup tool. Securely store copies of your important data on a separate hard drive, cloud server, or even Ubuntu One.
The new Gwibber landed in Ubuntu 11.10, bringing improved performance and a new interface using the most recent GNOME technologies.
GNOME 3.2 is included and is a major upgrade from GNOME 2.32 included in Ubuntu 11.04. GNOME Classic is no longer installed by default, but can be enabled after installation completes by installing gnome-panel. Note that the indicator status menus have not yet been ported to the new gnome-panel and the default upstream panel layout is used instead of the heavy Ubuntu customizations. GNOME Shell is also available for install.
Ubuntu now uses the LightDM login manager with the Unity greeter.
Synaptic and Pitivi are no longer included in the default install but are still available in the Ubuntu repositories.