The sole beta build of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has been made available to download, and comes packed with a whole heap of improvements to the Unity desktop.
Arriving ahead of its April 17 street date, the beta gives users an advance peek of what’s on the way, and developers some much needed last-minute feedback.
But what’s it like?
Pays To Have Trust in the Trusty Tahr
‘The last few releases of Ubuntu may have been boring — but this one is anything but.’
The last few releases of Ubuntu have been, to put it bluntly, boring. Sure, each has seen iterative improvements upon the last, and the usual glut of ‘under the hood fixes’ and app updates have made them worthy updates (though far from compelling). But when it comes to features there have been few to get fanatical about.
And with Ubuntu 14.04 being a Long Term Support release — which are hardly known for shaking things up — you may be expecting more of the same.
But you’d be wrong.
Honing & Polish
Most of you reading this will be well versed in Canonical’s mobile ambitions. Forwarding this goal has come at the expense of working on the desktop. With Canonical’s engineering and design teams commandeered for mobile, the desktop releases have felt a bit neglected.
To be clear: all of that work will eventually benefit the desktop. The long-term goal of a convergent Shangri-La won’t be reached quicker by expending energy on a desktop headed for the digital dustbin.
And so the “Trusty Tahr”, to give it its friendly codename, may look a lot like last October’s release of 13.10, and the 13.04 release before that. But it behaves like an entirely different beast altogether.
You can find out more for yourself by downloading a copy of the beta using the link below. Bear in mind it’s not officially stable (but unofficially it’s pretty much rock solid) so take it for a test drive before installing. Read on while you wait to find out more of what’s in store.
Application Menu Options
Locally integrated menu option should please many
For the first time since the introduction of Unity on the desktop Ubuntu is offering users a choice of where application menus appear.
By default menus continue to show in the top panel. But if you’d rather they were closer to the app they belong to you now only need to tick the Local Menus option located in System Settings > Appearance > Behaviour.
Don’t worry about them getting in the way of moving windows either — they’re really rather clever.