Announced today by Mark Shuttleworth the arrival of Head-Up Display, or HUD, a smart Menu that will replace global menus in Unity.
According to Mark: It’s smart, because it can do things like fuzzy matching, and it can learn what you usually do so it can prioritise the things you use often. It covers the focused app (because that’s where you probably want to act) as well as system functionality; you can change IM state, or go offline in Skype, all through the HUD, without changing focus, because those apps all talk to the indicator system. When you’ve been using it for a little while it seems like it’s reading your mind, in a good way.
Voice is the natural next step
Mark said: Searching is fast and familiar, especially once we integrate voice recognition, gesture and touch. We want to make it easy to talk to any application, and for any application to respond to your voice. The full integration of voice into applications will take some time. We can start by mapping voice onto the existing menu structures of your apps. And it will only get better from there.
But even without voice input, the HUD is faster than mousing through a menu, and easier to use than hotkeys since you just have to know what you want, not remember a specific key combination. We can search through everything we know about the menu, including descriptive help text, so pretty soon you will be able to find a menu entry using only vaguely related text (imagine finding an entry called Preferences when you search for “settings”).
It is still not known if HUD or Head-Up Display will be the default Menu in Ubuntu 12.04, for people want to test the new smart menu, it is available via the following PPA for Ubuntu 12.04.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:unity-team/hud sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
More about this news, please read Mark Shuttleworth announcement.