Ubuntu 12.04 LTS will be launched on April 26th 2012, nevertheless the plans for the new Ubuntu 12.10 have already started to gather excitement and interest.
Ubuntu developers have just published new plans for the upcoming 12.10 release, plans that include the newly reshaped indicator menus, plans centered around relevance, attribute that is to shape and lead various Ubuntu 12.10 components:
- the User menu and the System/Session menu will merge, resulting in a single icon (indicator) that is to combine the two's functionalities (Lock Screen and Switch User Account will merge into a single command), as well as new handy items (Ubuntu Help and About This Computer), furthermore there is a possibility to replace the Unity panel's "cog" with the Ubuntu logo/BFB (to happen if the developers will decide to remove the BFB from the launcher, due to various testing issues)
- the Clock menu is to probably receive support for adding and displaying alarms (by default)
- the Network menu is to gain ON/OFF switches that will enable/disable various connection types, with the interesting addition that only the available connection (previously configured in Network Settings) will be displayed
- the Bluetooth menu is to feature ON/OFF switches, too
- a heavily modified menu will be Messaging menu, meaning the Chat, Mail and Broadcast will be removed and are to be displayed only is the users are using them, furthermore the used apps will displays statuses, counts, etc under their own names (as opposed to the at-the-moment "generic" branding)
- Ubuntu 12.10 will probably feature a new indicator, Sync, that will be present on the Unity panel if the user uses sync services (Ubuntu One, Dropbox, SparkleShare, etc)
- the Keyboard menu will be maneuvered via a more precise icon representing the current input method or keyboard layout, menu that will contain the input method also
- the Printing menu will be presented in 12.10 as a launcher icon
"If you’re a programmer, tester, or visual designer, there are plenty of opportunities for you to help out".
Full details can be found on http://design.canonical.com/2012/04/status-menus/