Canonical announces that it’s finally retiring a feature that wasn’t all that popular to begin with, the default online search in Unity 7’s dash.
Ever since the introduction of online searches in Unity 7, this particular feature has caused mostly headaches to the developers and the company. The idea was to provide a new and potentially useful feature while also generating some new funds for the project. The initial response has been a very negative one, and they can’t shake the effects even today.
Online searches are performed with dedicated scopes, and they can provide more than just online searches for music or products on Amazon. Unfortunately, the online scopes didn’t really get off the ground, and with the focus on Unity 8, the team hasn’t done much work to improve it.
Online searches are going away with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Canonical is doing a lot of cleaning for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, and they are also proposing a number of important changes to the upcoming operating system. The removal of default online searches in the Dash is just the latest one.
“First of all online search will be off by default. This means that out-of-the-box none of your search terms will leave your computer. You can toggle this back on through the Security & Privacy option in System Settings. Additionally, if you do toggle this back on then results from Amazon & Skimlinks will remain off by default. You can toggle them back on if you wish,” said Will Cooke, the Unity desktop lead at Canonical.
Some of the default scopes will also be removed from the default installation, and they will only be available from the official repos. The scopes to be removed are Audacious, Clementine, gmusicbrowser, Gourmet, Guayadeque, and Musique.
Now, if you like the online searches, the developers will provide users with the means to enable them back on. The changes are being made right now in the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS build, and they will land soon. The new version of the OS is expected to arrive in April 2016.