Freya beta 2 is nearly here – a little preview
As the last bugs assigned to the second beta milestone of elementary OS 0.3 Freya are getting fixed and the new development release is slowly arriving, I consider taking a look at the new and most important features and changes made to the system between these versions.
In beta 1 of the third elementary OS release some default applications weren’t fully customized to fit in the updated look and style of the system. For example Photos and Geary haven’t got their header bar refreshes soon enough to get included into the first beta. Other apps got many bug fixes and overhauls based on user feedback. So you’ll see faster and better integrated Pantheon applications in the second preview release.
Beta 1 wasn’t free of flaws and bugs and beta 2 won’t be either, but it’s going to be much more stable and flaw-free. Many testers discovered bugs and reported them to the big base of experienced developers as well as many developers new to elementary. The most important and critical issues got fixed over the time and you’ll notice a huge change to the system stability.
The Switchboard Online Accounts plug, which allows users to save their credentials for web apps and use them in other applications, wasn’t ready in beta 1. It will be in beta 2.
Design issues got resolved, Animations were added, for example to Slingshot (the application launcher) and many lines of code got improved to speed up the general work flow. We’ll see a much faster and greater elementary experience with the next preview.
Many new and untranslated parts of the user interface got updated or even finished in many languages, but help is still needed.
It is recommended to reinstall the whole system when you are on beta 1 to avoid probable problems and update issues, but in the most cases it is going to be enough to use the standard software updater. After beta 2 we’ll see the the first release candidate which will represent a mostly stable system – and you can still help the developers.
The Ubuntu Software Center (USC) is shipped with elementary OS by default, but its interface and style isn’t that well integrated into elementary’s design and usability philosophy. But before elementary OS gets its own App Center, there’s another program which looks much better in the Pantheon environment and is pretty much faster than the USC; the Lubuntu Software Center. Its interface is much simpler and polished as well as very intuitive and lightweight.
Open the Ubuntu Software Center (orange shopping bag) one last time and search for “Lubuntu Software Center”. Click on install and enter your password to apply changes to your software. Here you go; you’ll find the new software center in the applications menu and you can add it to the dock, if you want.
Thanks to many suggestions in the elementary community on Google+. Consider joining the community to get news and help.