Ubuntu 20.04: Good OS, bad Software Centre

Every other April Canonical releases a new Long Term Support version of their operating system, Ubuntu. I've always been a fan of their work, and would like to take some time to look at their latest release. This is more of a first impressions, and a comparison to their older releases, rather than a review.

The desktop has received a lot of polish. The new Yaru theme looks great, and they've managed to integrate the signature purple and orange in a more sleek, professional manner. GNOME Shell's animations are much smoother, with no noticeable hitching on my Thinkpad T420.

The only problem is the lack of Canonical's previous improvements. The HUD was a fantastic concept. Being able to access every menu option in a program by keyboard made using programs like Gimp and Inkscape much easier. There's also the lack of integration between the top bar and a maximized window's title bar, but that can be fixed with the Unite GNOME extension. At least they removed that Amazon button.

Moving on to installing software, we have Ubuntu Software. No longer is it a laggy mess that makes you crave for Synaptic. Now it's just a decent program in need of a good polish. Ubuntu Software greets it's users with 4 missing icons and a banner with an unflattering picture of Minetest. “Explore” is painfully lacking, with no convenient way to browse available software without already knowing their names. Searching for software usually returns two results, one native and one Snap. It's not the best first impression, especially compared to Ubuntu MATE's Software Boutique.

Overall I think the desktop experience is great, but could be greater. Importing features like the HUD from the Unity desktop would be great, but the desktop is good enough on it's own. The software centre, however, needs a UI overhaul. You could just install Synaptic, which Ubuntu Software claims is proprietary, but you'd miss out on snaps, and it's not as pretty.