The new release of Ubuntu code-name 'Xenial Xerus' has reached beta stage and is out now, this is Ubuntu's 6th LTS release, which means 5 years of updates, bug fixes and support.
On board is a new software center, and many new improvements have been made under the hood.
This release is shipped with Unity 7 but word is said Unity 8 is also available as an alternative session (experimental, use at your own risk!)
Probably the most expected new feature (thanks mostly to the work of Marco Trevisan and the Ubuntu Kylin developers team) is the possibility to move the Unity launcher to the bottom, this has been the source of many discussions and debates all over the Internet, finally the developers have been merciful with us end users, kudos and thank you Canonical for a key change, i'm sure this move will make Unity more attractive to users of other desktop environments.
|A gorgeous looking Unity at the bottom of the screen|
Another improvement in Unity is the so-called 'Spyware' feature which make huge waves and made many users start looking for alternatives has been disabled, back then when the user searched his/her own files for a string using the Ubuntu desktop the system used to send that string back to Canonical's servers. Read here an article by Richard Stallman on this. Even though you could turn this feature off, users weren't happy to have such feature on their desktops (I was one of them)
In case you found this feature useful, don't panic! You can easily turn it back on, take a look below.
|Go to Ubuntu Systems Settings > Privacy > Search and turn the slider back to 'on'|
While it would be unfair to call Unity's search feature spyware and even worse, like some people did, compared it to windows 10 nagging, which in my own experience is much worse, this wasn't a good move from the developers, but they have positively reacted to the communities, again kudos and thanks Canonical.
With all this features together, being able to change Unity's position and many improvements under the hood, Ubuntu 16.04 makes an excellent release from my point of view, particularly from the LTS stability standpoint, give it a go and try it yourself, and feel free to leave a comment if you found this article helpful, happy testing!