The Beta version of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) has been released to the public. Now, the last few Ubuntu updates have been mundane to say the least. 14.04, being a Long Term Support Release would appear to be boring as well, right? Wrong.
While the updates do not bring any game changing new features, the developers have brought back some well loved features from the old gnome interface.
“Wait, they’re bringing back Gnome?”, you may be thinking, still no. Instead they have added back in some optional features that originally made switching to Unity so rough.
As with the last update, they are still trying to make Unity an overall nicer desktop environment to use. As part of this, they are putting into place a new lock screen that looks similar to the logon screen. This is replacing the old lock screen that, well, looked as if it were still part of Gnome. This gives locking a very slick feel.
As well as the aesthetics portion, the newer Unity interface is providing the user with more customizability options. One of these new options, is the option to set the application menu bars inside of the application window itself. Previously the application menus were hidden up in the top bar of the desktop, not the window. This stirred up a lot of controversy when it was first introduced. Because the menu was detached from the application, many users thought that the interface hid those options, and made the OS harder to use. Despite who you side with, Trusty Tahr gives you the option to go either way.
Also, the infamous click to reveal option has been (reluctantly) added in as well. Unfortunately, if you are looking to enable this option, you do need to install an external application, such as CompizConfig.
Finally, a noticeable tweak for those of you using HD displays, is the addition of anti-aliased windows, and dash. This provides for less “fuzzy pictures” and a sharper looking UI on high resolution monitors.
To wrap things up, it appears that the Ubuntu developers are finally spending some more time on the desktop version of the OS, and hopefully if everything goes well, when 14.04 comes around, we should get a stable release with a lot of nice features as well.