Five Latest Unity Lenses For Ubuntu

One of the most beautiful and powerful feature of Ubuntu Unity is the lenses. These lenses enable instant searches in the Unity dash itself. For e.g., you can search Youtube videos straight from the dash by just typing the title of video. The main idea behind separating these kind of small features in individual lenses instead of providing in a bundle is to let the users decide to install them based on their preference and need, thus keeping the Unity dash clean and uncluttered.

We have talked about some of the useful Unity lenses. Here are some of latest offerings. Please note that these might not be the most useful ones but these are the new arrivals in the arena.

Unity Academic Lens:

This geeky lens lets you search for scholarly articles that could be helpful from an academic point of view. The sources for these articles are taken from Pubmed and Google Scholar, two highly rated academic data online resources.

Use the following commands in terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) to install this lens:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:markjtully/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unity-lens-academic unity-scope-zotero


Unity Shopping Lens:

Do you like to shop and visit Amazon very often? Here we have what is called as the “shopping lens” in Unity. All you need to do is to type the name of the stuff you are looking for. It will search the Amazon database and return the most relevant results. The prices are shown in the local currency depending upon your geographical location. Clicking on the item opens it in the default web browser.

Use the following command to install it:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:unity-lens-shopping-team/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unity-lens-shopping

Movie Review Lens:

A movie buff you are. This Unity lens gives a quick glimpse of the average rating (based on users vote) from Rotten Tomatoes. Though this does not provide the “freshness” of the movie but it still comes handy in quick look at the rating. Just type the name of the movie in the Unity dash and it will show you the list. Install it using the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:scopes-packagers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unity-lens-utilities unity-scope-rottentomatoes

Wikipedia Lens:

If you have done your assignments, projects and/or thesis without using Wikipedia even once, then either you are a born genius or you were born in 70s. Ubuntu has off icily ported Wikipedia lens in Ubuntu Software Center (available for 12.04). You can perform a handy search in the Unity dash for the information you are looking for in Wikipedia by typing the search keywords. The lens provides the result from Wikipedia. Clicking on the search result opens the link in the default web browser.


The lens is available in Software Center. Search for Wikipedia Lens in Software Center to install it.

Unity Radio Lens:

This lens lets you search for a variety of radio stations. It has a broad range of genres available that can help you narrow down your search. It also has the “stream locations near you” feature based on your geographical location. When you click on a station result, Rhythmbox starts up to play the selected radio station. The radio lens had landed in Software Center in Ubuntu 12.10. The lens is NOT available in Ubuntu 12.04 when this post is published.

Note: Some of these lenses require a restart. Unity Shopping lens has limited access to its PPA, you might have to retry after sometime to get the access.

What are your favorite Unity lenses? And what would you like to see in the upcoming Unity lenses? Do let us know in the comment section.

image credit: By martinak15

Abhishek Prakash

Abhishek is a Linux lover and Opens Source enthusiast. He takes a keen interest in day-to-day computer life and wishes to share his experience with others to make their computer experience better and easier. He is the owner of increasingly popular tech blog Computer And You and Open Source blog It's FOSS.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox