In April of next year we will have the release of version 17.04 of Ubuntu, andste codenamed Zesty Zapus, he will be responsible for bringing to users a new update for Unity 8, more polished and with more features.
Ubuntu 17.04 will likely follow the example of Ubuntu 16.10 release which came out last October, keeping the Unity 8 interface as an alternative on the system login screen, keeping Unity 7 with its bug fixes, which at this point in the championship is already very stable, due to the fact that Ubuntu hasn’t changed much 14.04 LTS, as standard.
While Unity 7 is still there, firm and strong, the news will be concentrated on the new version of Unity that will accompany the release of the distro.
Among the goals for Unity 8 on Ubuntu 17.04 are:
1 – Make Unity 8 a Snap: The Snap packages have already been commented a lot here on the blog, precisely because of the paradigm that they are capable of breaking within the Linux world. So one of the big goals is to make the Unity 8 interface a Snap.
2 – Complete window management and usability: Another very important thing that is being planned, is to mirror the behavior of Unity 7 in Unity 8, this is even one of the points that I criticized in the new Unity in the video above, the fact that it looks even more like a mobile system, than with a computer. The idea behind this topic is to bring the familiarity that people are used to on Ubuntu Desktop today, to the new interface.
3 – Make Unity 8 better with a mouse: Let’s say this is a complement to the previous topic.
Unity 8 was designed as a gesture-based interface, which is really useful if you are using it on a Smartphone or Tablet, but as soon as a mouse and keyboard are connected, the way of operating is still not satisfactory , making you lose much of the productivity that the traditional Unity 7 offers you, so the goal here is to make Unity 8 more friendly to the mouse, having a more traditional behavior, with context menus and more.
4 – “An Apps drawer”: This is perhaps the biggest visual change. The system menu will receive an appearance, in a way, similar to the menu we have now in Unity 7. In Desktop mode the Scopes will no longer work in the same way, being that way only when the mobile mode is activated or when you “call ”That interface. The idea is that this “drawer” stores all applications, both Snaps, those that run on Mir and those that run on X in the same location, without the user realizing which is which.
You can also see an example of this feature in the first image that illustrates this post.
5 – Support for multimonitors: I didn’t get to demonstrate this in the video, I just commented, but when you connect an extra screen to the computer with Unity 8, via HDMI for example, the system thinks it’s in the cell phone and turns the primary screen into a large useless touchpad, especially if the your screen is not touch too. This behavior is completely justified and extremely useful on a Smartphone, as you can see in this demo of Smartphones with Ubuntu that we have on the channel, but on computers the story is different, so one of the proposals is to have Unity 8 compatible with more than one monitor without showing this behavior.
When does Unity 8 arrive with a definitive interface?
The launch was delayed so long and has been modified so much and so many times, that we don’t even have a crystal ball to guess, but the bet is that the next LTS, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS that will come out in April 2018, already has a functional Unity 8 interface and support complete for Snap packs. It may seem like a long time until then, but the truth is that our troubled year of 2016 is at the end, which gives developers a little more than 1 year to adjust all this, a lot of work is to come.
What did you think of the news?
To the next!