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Ubuntu Unity Desktop Introduces Web Apps

Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal is the first release to offer the new web apps feature. Integration of the new Ubuntu web apps feature was originally announced by Mark Shuttleworth at OSCON. This change was inspired by the realization that the web has become an important part of daily life for many Linux users.

More Improvements To Come

Completely seamless online integration with the desktop is now one step closer. Much work is still needed before this technology can truly reach its pinnacle, however things are progressing smoothly.

Ubuntu 12.10 Web Apps Screenshot

Ubuntu Web Apps Supported Websites

The new Ubuntu web apps feature offers support for a variety of popular websites. There is support for several news sites including Reddit, Google Reader, CNN, and BBC. Mail sites like Gmail, Yahoo!, and Windows Live Mail are also supported. Even many social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Using Ubuntu Web Apps

This feature will cause popular websites to function more like traditional desktop applications. The original list of supported websites was known to contain at least 40 popular sites. After visiting a website that supports the new web apps feature users are then prompted with the option to integrate the application into Ubuntu. After installing the web app, the features will become active. Unfortunately you must repeat this process for every supported web site.

Ubuntu 12.10 Web Apps Screenshot

Web Apps Are Deeply Integrated Into The Desktop

Webb apps integration will be noticeable in the launcher, dash, sound and messaging menus, and even the HUD. Web apps will display their own launcher icons and often useful notifications or progress bars. When a web app is active you can quickly find more actions or options using the new Unity HUD. Search results for web apps will now appear inside the dash which is quite convenient. Users can even switch between web apps using the application switcher.

Ubuntu 12.10 Web Apps Screenshot

Which Browsers Are Compatible?

Install the web apps feature as a Firefox add-on or as an extension for the Chromium web browser. Disable the desktop integration feature from the Firefox preferences menu if you prefer.

Helpful Links

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