Weeks ago, the developers announced the official start on developing Raring Ringtail, development effort shortly followed by interesting additions, such as GNOME Control Center Unity 1.0 (at the moment, not installed by default) and the default wallpaper ("breaking" the usual pattern of landing the wallpaper just-weeks before the final release).
Furthermore, along with the mentioned changes, it seems that the developers have started to publish (and make available) exciting visual pieces, aimed at (partially) redefining the desktop with fancy icons.
The Ubuntu logo (clicking on it opens the Dash) gained a whirlwind-like addition, whirlwind rooted (as in metaphorically generated by) in the BFB icon, visual mix that expresses and subtly suggests the power behind it (clicking on the BFB button, opens/generates a much bigger piece or presenting itself as the first visual piece between the user and the powerful Dash).
Nautilus removes the "old" folder icon, adopting a "metallic" container that houses multiple orange folders, essentially, being expressed as a container (containing numerous items), while the opened device transmits an availability and strengthens its item-management nature.
While retaining the previously-used bag-like main shape, Ubuntu Software Center ditches the multitude of exposed app symbolic icons, drawing a singular A-like shape; the used orange color and the horizontal progressbar allow users to immediately identify its nature (installing apps), due to the Unity launcher's manner of installing apps (installing an application, exposes a progressbar on its Unity launcher icon).
The Software Updater performs, at its name says, software updating, update process that involves package installations; (probably) the developers pushed the same installation-wise bit (the progressbar and the A-like shape) into the Software Updater, yet expressing a constant movement (periodically updating the computer) of the utility.
A definitely interesting aspect of Software Updater's new icon is its used surrounding color, green, color that (traditionally) bears a sense of freshness and vitality.
Months ago, Unity gained an interesting feature, allowing users to on-demand per-user-preference change the color of Unity launcher tiles (the surrounding icon box) by simply adding a text entry on .desktop files (basically, adding a color code, such as
#4c9e39, pushes the
#4c9e39 color to the preferred app's Unity launcher tile when the app is launched/clicked on).
Along with the new icons, the developers selected specific colors to be used by the above apps' tiles, such as Nautilus
#af4853, Ubuntu Software Center
#ffbf87, Software Updater
In Ubuntu 12.10, there are (by default) 4 workspaces, clicking on their Unity launcher icon, summons the 4 workspaces, functionality that is to be enriched (in Raring) with current workspace-aware icons; navigating to a different workspace (different from the currently used) is to be visually expressed in its Unity launcher icon, navigating to another workspace (different from the previously selected workspace), changes its Unity launcher icon accordingly, etc.
The mentioned approach is usable (applicable to) when the user utilizes 2x2 (4) workspaces, adding extra workspaces, automatically "freezes" the Workspace icon to its default state (not updating its current state anymore).