Ubuntu's Unity Online Search Returns with a Vengeance in 13.04

New details arise about the upgraded Unity and its online search features

Canonical has just posted an interesting update regarding the integration of Lenses in Unity Dash and their role in making Ubuntu a complete and global solution.

In Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal), Canonical has introduced an online search in the Home lens and everyone went berserk. Anticipating the interest in the evolution of Unity, in the upcoming Ubunu 13.04, Canonical has provided some pretty interesting facts.

First of all, Ubuntu 13.04 will feature a lot more default Lenses (or scopes), including many existing community-developed ones.

The ability to automatically light up the right scopes, based on their relevance to a user’s search query, will be a primordial feature in the new Unity.

For example, if you search for a particular music band, the first results will be provided from the Video and Music scopes. The results will also contain local and online sources – with the online sources querying the personal cloud of the user, as well as other free and commercial sources like YouTube, Last.fm, Amazon, and so on.

Moreover, the new Dash search will also carry a ranking, and the results will balance against local results to return the most relevant information for the user. How these rankings are assigned remains a mystery.

Another feature that will surely enthrall the Ubuntu users will be the possibility to purchase products straight from Unity, without the help of a third-party application such as an Internet browser.

The payments will be enabled by Ubuntu One and will be used for both applications from the Software Center and music from the Music Store, although other services could be implemented by the time Ubuntu 13.04 launches officially.

“Its raison d’etre (ed. Note Unity Dash) is to provide Ubuntu users the fastest, slickest way to find things right from their home environment – independent of whether those “things” are on your machine, available online, free or commercial,” states the official announcement.

Canonical also stressed the importance of security. The collected data is not user-identifiable and users who want complete anonymity can simply switch off these services with just the press of a button.

More details about these intriguing Unity developments are sure to follow. Stay tuned.

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