Changes to the way the Unity Dash looks and behaves in Ubuntu 11.10 are on the way. In the Unity 2D development branch some of the reworking is already available to see.
Better yet we’re told the same design is planned for regular Unity.
Gone is the “circle of friends” logo that sat to the left of the top panel. Instead the ‘Application Menu’ extends all the way to the left.
As do window controls when an application is Maximized: -
The Dash is now launched by pressing a large ‘Ubuntu’ button positioned to the top of the Launcher.
You’ll also notice a lack of Lenses on the Launcher. Lenses are now integrated into the Dash – which has also gained blur! Icons for switching between Lenses are placed at the bottom of the Dash.
Browsing for and filtering files and applications remain available, but is looking much better: -
And yes, the Dash/Lenses can still be toggled to fullscreen: -
Features, designs and applications shown above are not necessarily indicative of what you’ll find in Ubuntu 11.10 come October. Ubuntu 11.10 is still under active and heavy development.
Eager to test? Oneiric users can add the Unity 2D Daily PPA (as the ‘daily’ suffix should imply, this PPA is unstable).
Hat tip to Andrea Azzarone