The first beta release of the Ubuntu 12.04 development cycle is now available to download.
Keeping to the mantra of ‘polish, performance and predictability’, Ubuntu 12.04 Beta 1 offers up a stable and usable desktop, a faster Unity experience, and a handful of neat new features.
A second beta candidate is due out in 28 days time, March 29th, with the final release itself expected to pop out on April 26th.
Most of the ‘new’ changes present in the Beta will be familiar to regular readers of this site (which makes subscribing or following us a super deal, right?) or to those who have been testing Precise for the last few weeks. There are two point releases of Unity updates, the arrival of the HUD, new lenses, settings, and options, and slick new features on the login screen.
If you haven’t tried Ubuntu 12.04 before there’s never been a better time to grab a USB or blank CD and taking it for a spin.
It’s Ubuntu 12.04 prime feature and, with the beta release, is now readily available on the desktop – just hit the Alt key to reveal it.
Everyone loves videos and the beta introduces a new multimedia lens capable of searching online services (such as BBC iPlayer and YouTube Movies) for films and TV Shows. The lens also searches through the metadata of files store in your Video folder.
If you’re precious about what information your computer logs about you and your activities then you will appreciate the introduction of new privacy options in the System Settings pane.
It’s here that you can choose which applications, files and/or folders are logged by Ubuntu inorder to relay activity information in the Dash/other apps. For the uber secretive there’s even an ‘off’ button to disable all logging.
Other Misc Changes since Alpha 2
The Ubuntu One client got a Qt makeover (or makeunder depending on your opinion) to bring it into line with the style of the online and Windows client interfaces.
The Bfb, workspace switcher and trash launcher items now match the Dash colouring.
Application updates include Firefox 11, LibreOffice 3.5 and Nautilus 3.3.5.