Friday, July 20, 2012

How To: Install Ubuntu's New Web Apps Integration (and more info about it)

If you didn't know, Ubuntu 12.10 is going to have a new Web Apps feature that allows web apps to integrate with the Ubuntu desktop, such as notifications. This is already going to be a feature in 12.10, but right now you can install this on 12.10 (still in Alpha stages I believe), and in 12.04 LTS.

Right now, some important company's/services use this on the web. Examples are:

  • Twitter
  • CNN
  • Reddit
  • Google News/Google Reader
  • GMail
  • Yahoo! Mail
  • Yandex Mail
  • QQ Mail
  • Windows Live Hotmail
  • Mail RU
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Tumblr
  • LinkedIn
  • ....and much more

Users of Google+ and Twitter are going to love the message menu integration, thanks to the web apps feature. Games such as Angry Birds Chrome also have integration as well. Google Docs and Google Calendar also has integration; take a look at the image above.

Music services such as Pandora, GrooveShark, and also has web app integration as well. The image below shows that GrooveShark is integrated into the Ubuntu sound menu, like the music player is.
How to Install
To install web apps integration, you have to add the PPA to do so. Be careful, because this is still in development. When this feature is released, there is no telling if this will be backported to 12.04 LTS.

Add the PPA below using a terminal command, or add the bold part to your Software Sources.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webapps/preview
After you have entered that command, enter this one to actually update your repos and install Unity Web Apps integration:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install unity-webapps-preview
After this, you should be set. You might want to log out and then log back in, just to be sure that everything is set up correctly. For now, this integration only works for Firefox and Chromium browsers; no work on Chrome or Opera support yet. That will be up to Google and Opera Software, because Chrome and Opera are both closed source browsers, so developers can't add this support for them.

If you have any thoughts, let me know of them below.