It’s that time of the year when we get a new version of the popular Linux distro, Ubuntu. The newest version, 12.04, dubbed as ‘Precise Pangolin’ in their usual alliterative theme comes with some new features but mostly just refinements to those added in the previous version.
There is now a new HUD that allows the user to simply type what they want to do and then the OS suggests them applications based on the text they enter. So if you were to type “browse the Internet” the OS would display the browser among the results. The HUD can be evoked with a click of the Alt key on your keyboard.
Another new feature is Video Lens, which lets you search for any video you want and depending on your search string presents you with a bunch of videos that could be stored on your computer or found online on any of the video streaming sites such as YouTube. This beats having to go to YouTube to search for a video as you can now do it directly from your desktop.
Other features include OS X style right click options for items in the dock. Instead of clicking the icon, launching the app and then going to a specific function, you can just right click on the icon, click on the function (if available) and then jump to it directly. The icons also show a nifty progress bar when an app is being downloaded, again like on OS X.
The updated Home Lens now shows you an overview of the files and apps that you recently accessed and if you don’t want an app or a file/folder to show up now you can even individually disable the logging for that particular item.
Other minor changes include the dock automatically changing color depending upon the color of the background wallpaper and an improved login screen with the wallpaper showing in the background that changes as you select an account. The Banshee music player has also been removed in favor of Rhythmbox.
Ubuntu 12.04 also comes with LTS or Long Term Support. Previous versions offered three years for the desktop and five years for the server but 12.04 offers five years for both.
As usual it’s free so you can try it out for yourself from the link below.