The Ubuntu 12.10 icon theme has been updated with new status items for use in the Messaging Menu.

A total of 24 new messaging indicator icons were added – 12 for use with the default ‘mono-dark’ icon set, and 12 for use with the ‘mono-light’ version.

But what are they, and what is their purpose?

In Ubuntu 12.04 (and previous) the Messaging Menu indicator had two ‘states’: no new messages/alerts (white) and new messages/alerts (blue):

But the new icons in Ubuntu 12.10 seem to indicate (pun fully intended) there more states will be used.

12 new icons are introduced to each of the icon sets:

The first four of each state denote status availability (Available, Away, Busy, Offline). The last two in each set are for ‘mixed messages’ and ‘offline’ respectively.

At the time of writing these ‘new’ icons aren’t invoked by the indicator at any point, so it remains to be seen precisely what their purpose will be or how/when they are used.

But as the Messaging Menu has been updated with support for a newer messaging library (backend stuff, nothing fancy) and it isn’t looking quite its usual self at present, it may be a few more days before we find out.

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