The developers have just announced a new major project for Ubuntu, based on the near-future landing of, by default, a solid amount of web apps, featuring an enhanced desktop integration (Messaging Menu, Unity launcher, badge and HUD support, etc), basically, allowing users to easily launch a desired web app via the Dash, furthermore gaining, via the mentioned integration, enhanced Unity quicklists, number of messages, replies, etc, in the Messaging Menu and more (at the moment, Ubuntu Web Apps are work-in-progress).
The developers have made available a development PPA, containing Web Apps-specific bits, useful for testing and previews.
The mentioned PPA contains not only merely a singular web apps package, but a solid mount of changed applications, including Chromium, Firefox, lenses, System Settings, meaning, the new Web Apps are to probably push specific bits into major Ubuntu areas, probably needed for their usage.
The System Settings (after the packages are installed) gains a new addition, Online Accounts (visible by default), opening it, summons a list of ready-to-be-used services, such as Facebook, Flickr, Google (including Gmail, Google+, YouTube, Picasa), Twitter, Foursquare and Identi.ca, configuring accounts in the Online Accounts' view, makes them automatically available on the presented online services.
How do we use Ubuntu Web Apps?
First, install the Web Apps, by adding the following development (probably unstable) PPA (Precise, Quantal)
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webapps/preview
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unity-webapps-preview
then, restart the computer.
Running the above commands, modify Chromium and Firefox, consequently, navigating to supported webpages, automatically presents the user a top-left message
Do you want to integrate ... with your Ubuntu desktop?, clicking
Yes, creates an icon in relation to the visited page, icon that represents the web app with its desktop integration (later, the newly created web app is to launched via the Dash, just like a regular Ubuntu application).
The at-the-moment list of supported online places:
163, Angry Birds, Baidu, Baidu Mail, Baidu News, BBC, Blogger, CNN, Cut the rope, Drupal, Facebook, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google News, Google +, Google Reader, Grooveshark, Hotmail, Hulu, Last,fm, Launchpad, Linkedin, Lord of Ultima, Mail 163, Mail qq, Mail ru, MSN, News Mail ru, News Sohu, Reddit, Sina, Tiberium Alliances, Twitter, Vkontakte, Wordpress, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo News, Yandex Mail, Yandex Music, Yandex News, Youtube.
Furthermore, the new Web Apps introduce a new lens, Unity Google Docs lens, gathering, displaying and managing one's Google Docs documents, furthermore, the user is to easily navigate through the available documents by taking advantage of filters (
The PPA (and its contained packages) are to be reverted to a default Ubuntu state, by typing in a terminal
sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:webapps/preview