Onboard is a handy useful virtual keyboard (installed in Ubuntu by default), allowing users to enjoy a full virtual keyboard on the desktop, approach useful in situations like (partially-)broken physical keyboards, lack of functionality for certain keyboard keys, etc, where Onboard's agility fully satisfies one's needs.
Onboard has been updated to another meaningful release, 0.99 ALPHA 1, introducing a wide amount of features, fixes and improvements.
Along with the desktop, the developers are focused on optimizing Ubuntu for various use cases, where minor tweaks can generate a visible performance growth, as in the case of the recently announced Ubuntu for Nexus 7.
While the Nexus 7 tablet uses (if intended) the regular Ubuntu desktop, the developers are creating an optimized Ubuntu desktop for the Nexus 7, optimizations aimed at improving areas of the desktop that are "heavy" for the Nexus 7 tablet.
The newly landed-in-Ubuntu-13.04 version brings various optimizations aimed at Nexus 7, properly increasing its usability under the mentioned tablet, thus removing faulty use cases (such as 45 seconds when started from inside a Nexus 7 tablet, etc).
Onboard 0.99 comes with docking support, feature presenting itself as a 1-click away manner of transforming the virtual keyboard into a dock.
Onboard appindicator-->Preferences-->Window-->Window management, the user is able to check
Enable docking, action that moves the keyboard to the bottom of the screen and expands its surface to fill the entire bottom screen area (from one side of the screen to the other).
Enable docking, reverts Onboard's position to its pre-docking area, meaning, if Onboard is positioned on the top screen area, checking
Enable docking, moves (and expands) the virtual keyboard to the bottom area, unchecking
Enable docking, reverts the keyboard to the top screen area.
By default, the keyboard is docked on
Bottom, yet, hitting the
Docking settings button and selecting
Dock to screen edge), renders the horizontally-maximized dock on the top area of the screen (yet exposing the Unity panel).
Care for details and subtle-yet-pleasant effects are definitely a part of the 0.99 version, enabling the mentioned docking feature and (via its appindicator)
Show Onboard (on/off, show/hide), toggles its appearance with a sliding effect.
Onboard 0.99 expresses its configuration options via a refreshed
Preferences dialog, exposing categories on the left-side and contained entries on the right-side, shifting its look to a more intuitive approach.
Advanced is a newly landed category, category that houses exciting capabilities, such as
Multi-touch support; navigating to
Advanced, the user is able to select
Touch input), thus adapting Onboard to one's specific use case.
Nightshade has been added to Onboard as a new theme, theme bearing a dark-ish look with readable buttons, proportioned shapes and vividly-rendered characters (in order to enable it navigate to
The mentioned changes, along with numerous and numerous fixes and under-the-hood enhancements, are part of Onboard 0.99 ALPHA 1.