‘Super Lens PPA’ for Ubuntu even as Dash gets new ‘Home Lenses’ Layout for 12.04

To those who feel out of sorts with the eight giant Unity Dash shortcuts, Ubutnu 12.04 latest development focus could bring a round of cheer. Titled ‘Remove Dash Home Shortcut Icons,’  developers are working towards removal of the eight icons on Dash Home screen before a search is performed as it has become redundant since, ”Dash and Launcher performing all required launching functions,” proposes Unity Design Team’s John Lea.

Change prompted by low usage, confusion and need to relate to User

The eight-icons displayed on Dash home are rather large-sized and are limited in functionality; even when they are launched they lack features otherwise present in icons already available on Dash. Though with titles, the home screen does become more effective, but Unity Launcher offers greater comfort with features and configuring capabilities. The duality between the tiles and Launcher is rather confusing and hence the move to remove the redundancies.

Looking at two options allowing users to toggle between the two options Lea proposes,

Option 1: Replace with a default view (as used by the other Lenses) showing the following category headers: “Recently Used Apps” (excludes apps currently in the Launcher), “Recent Files”, and “Recent Downloads”. The icons used for the category headers should be the same as used for the equivalent category headers in the Lenses (except, the music lens should collate Songs and Albums into one Music category).

Option 2: would simply allow Dash to resize vertically without any of the icons being replaced.”

New ‘home lenses’ does prove to be an effective move from a generalized solution that would help only a few users. Users can only wish that developers pay attention to what they want displayed and the hierarch in which they want it displayed.  First wish would be to have more of recent Lens used on Home screen, like Gwibber Lens, rather than the most recent application.

On the topic of Lenses, here is a brief look at some favourite and best Ubuntu ‘Lenses’ for Unity but will require adding the ‘Super Lens’ PPA in Software Sources for a ‘one click install’ button feature.

Super Lens PPA

Open  terminal and enter the following commands

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jsevi83/unity 
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/lenses 
sudo apt-get update

 Gwibber Lens

For Ubuntu users ‘Gwibber’ is what will let you post/update on Twitter, but  it runs very slow in comparison to twitter stream. So the only reason that  Gwibber remains a favourite is the great search and filter options it offers.

Tomboy Lens

If ever you are in need of a good creative note-taking feature, Tomboy Lens lets you search them all from ideas, notes etc. Additionally, it keeps the most recent at the top, so that there is no loss of continuity.

Spotify Scope

Though Linux has several scopes – Grooveshark, Banshee, Spotify Scope is simply the best. It’s able to search through millions of titles based on artist or title-track.