Unity provides a complete, simple, touch-ready environment that integrates your applications and your workflow.
Unity is designed for mouse, touchpad, and keyboard use. It includes a new panel and application launcher that makes it fast and easy to access preferred applications, such as the browser, while removing screen elements that are rarely used.
Unity itself is made up of several components: The Launcher which appears on the left-hand side of the screen which allows you to start and switch applications, the menu panel at the top of the screen which integrates both the application menu as well as application indicators, the Dash which provides desktop search integration for local and remote information, and non-intrusive on screen notifications.
The application launcher
The Launcher displays icons for commonly-used applications and programs that are currently running. Clicking on an icon will give the target application focus if it is already running or launch it if it is not already running. If you click the icon of an application that already has focus, Unity will activate an Expose-style view of all the open windows associated with that application.
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Application indicators provide a simple and effective API to provide an application icon in the notification area in the top-right part of the screen, and provide simple, accessible, and complete access to key parts of your application.
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Unity comes with some common indicators that your application can integrate with.
The messaging menu
The messaging menu provides quick access to global messaging status and individual messaging applications. An application may provide a new-messages count or a time-since-last-message for multiple message sources.
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The sound menu
In addition to being able to easily change audio volume, the Sound Menu lets a user control music playback from their choice of music player. It can also display the name, artist, and album art for the currently playing song.
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The Dash, lenses and scopes
The Dash allows the user to quickly search for information both locally (installed applications, recent files, bookmarks, etc) and remotely (Twitter, Google Docs, etc). It achieves this by having one or more Lenses that each are responsible for providing one category of search results for the Dash, and Scopes which provide the Lens with search results from multiple independent sources.
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Notify OSD provides a notification system that provides simple and elegant bubbles that can convey different types of information, but are always dismissable by simply moving your mouse over the bubble, to fade it.
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Ubuntu Web Apps
Ubuntu Web Apps enable developers to create web applications that run in web browsers, but act as if they are native applications. They provide close integration to the Unity shell for functions such as launch, notifications and controls.
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