Following on from recent posts covering neat new  ‘Lenses’ for Unity – visually slick ways to access information via the Ubuntu 11.04 desktop – I thought it time for a quick overview of the most interesting ones currently in development.

Ubuntu One Music Store Lens

Searching for music from the Dash or the lens itself with this Ubuntu One Music store lens installed.

Still very much in development, and not ready for use of any kind by users, the lens is able to search 7Digitial for artists per a search (put in an album name, it returns the artist, etc) but the aim is for results to open in the Ubuntu One music store in Banshee.

YouTube Lens

Let me pitch a scenario: You want watch ‘Rebecca Black’s Friday’ video (no really, you do) without having to open up Firefox, head to and then manually search for it.

The following YouTube Lens for Unity, currently knee-high in development by a certain regular OMG! Ubuntu! contributor, puts YouTube search on your desktop, no more than one click away.

YouTube Lens in Ubuntu Unity

Book Lens

Described as a ‘Unity lens for book lovers’ the idea behind this launcher addition is to allow you to easily search ‘the greatest digital library on Earth’.

Where ‘Earth’ reads ‘Google Books’. OpenLibrary and Wikisource are also tacked for inclusion.

Head over to for more information.

Gwibber Lens

Easily view and search your social streams from Gwibber in the ‘Gwibber Lens’. Taking advantage of the “new” layout available to Lens developers, the lens provides access to your @replies, contacts, direct messages and more – all from the comfort of the Unity interface.

‘Gwibber Lens’ can be installed in 11.04 via the Gwibber team PPA. See our previous in-depth post on this Lens for instructions.

AskUbuntu Lens

Finding help on a variety of issues is made easier with the AskUbuntu Lens. Enter a search term and results from the stack-exchange powered site are relayed; tags, questions and users are some of the result categories.

AskUbuntu is the official – and highly useful – ‘Question and answer’ platform manned by the Ubuntu community. A wealth of information can be found there – from how to adjust your screen brightness via terminal commands to whether Ubuntu 10.10 supports X, Y and Z packages.

Installable in 11.04 via PPA. See here for that.

Thanks to Jorge Castro

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