The following is only an idea, but it could become reality in one of the next releases of the popular Ubuntu operating system. Back in August 2005, Matthew Paul Thomas submitted, on the Ubuntu wiki page, an idea and design of a piece of software that would unify all the existing package managers in the Ubuntu distribution. At the moment, the software is called AppCenter, and it was recently brought into spotlight. If you look at the mockup below, it pretty much looks like the Add/Remove application that is already an important part of the Ubuntu OS, but... if you look closer, you can notice that it also includes the ability to retrieve security and software updates.
To summarize, AppCenter or whatever its name will be in the future, will definitely replace the popular Synaptic Package Manager, Update Manager, Add/Remove, GDebi and System Cleaner applications, in order to offer to the new or experienced Ubuntu users an easier and more intuitive way to install/update/remove software packages.
"AppCenter is the codename for a single graphical interface for package management in Ubuntu. (The final name will be dependent on user testing of which is most understandable.) This will combine the power of Synaptic, the human-readable approach of Add/Remove Programs, and the ease of use of Update Manager. Having a single interface will make handling software easier, socially improve security, hopefully free space on the CD, and provide a prominent showcase for Ubuntu and partner software. The implementation might be based on Add/Remove Programs, Synaptic, or packagekit-gnome, whichever allows for quickest development and best performance."
This said, let's have a quick look now at the AppCenter's abilities:
· search software
· search software sources
· retrieve information about software
· install software
· software overviews
· software screenshots
· user reviews
· user ratings
· user friendly
· Ubuntu upgrades
· Ubuntu updates
Once again, we remind everyone who's reading this that the above "features" of the AppCenter application are only an idea/design, and it may or may not become reality in the near future (I sure hope it will). Here's another mockup of AppCenter, showing the installed packages (maintained by Canonical)...
In conclusion, we think that AppCenter will definitely be a great tool for the future of the Ubuntu operating system, if it is developed. Having a single piece of software for all the package management tasks, and not four or five different applications, like we have now, is more than welcome and it will bring lots of new users to this open-source platform.