How To Use Ubuntu Apps
Installing/Uninstalling programs, tools and games
Similar to the “Add/Remove Programs” Windows' panel, Ubuntu Software Center allows you to install/uninstall all sorts of tools, games and apps that you need in order to personalize your computer. You can find the appropriate Software Center launcher on the task bar.
After you click it, the following window will open.
On the left you find a list of fast cycling categories. Browsing through them will let you choose between Accessories, Books & Magazines, Graphics, Office and many other tools to take you one step further using Ubuntu. The main window shows hot new apps, recommendations and a short list of top rated software that you might be interested in. If you are looking for a specific one, just use the search box from the top right corner.
Although Ubuntu has a huge drivers database and automatically installs everything for your computer to work right, without being necessary to use third-party installation CDs, sometimes you might need to get yourself the right driver for a piece of hardware. To do this, click on the Dashboard launcher and type “driver”.
Then click the “Additional Drivers” button. The system will start looking for additional drivers online.
If a driver is missing or outdated, Ubuntu will provide you with the right suggestion for it.
The above example shows some suggestions related to the graphic card and recommends the appropriate driver version. All you need to do is to select it and click the “Activate” button.
The Internet – browse, email, chat
When you install Ubuntu, several tools meant for Internet purposes will be also installed by default. You may use Mozilla Firefox for browsing and Mozilla Thunderbird for reading you emails. Click that little envelope from the top-right of your screen.
From the drop-down menu, choose “Mail”. This will take you to Mozilla Thunderbird window, where you may start to setup your mail accounts. The beauty of this email client is that it can hold multiple accounts like Yahoo!, Gmail and so on. You will be able to read, write, reply and edit all the messages within a single window.
Also, you may connect a Facebook or Twitter account (or both) with Gwibber. By doing this, you will be able to read and respond to your social network friends without browsing the Internet pages. From the drop-down menu, choose “Broadcast”.
An alternative to Yahoo! Messenger would be Empathy. From the drop-down menu, choose “Chat”.
It's great, isn't it? Everything you need to stay connected at your fingertips. Of course, there are tens of alternatives for these default tools. For example, you might want to install Google Chrome as your preferred web browser or GyachE Improved as your messenger client.
Music, movies and pictures
Rhythmbox Music Player will have no problem to play your favorite music or listen to online radio stations, while Movie Player will allow you to sit back and relax watching a good movie.
For pictures you have Image Viewer, which allows you to browse any picture collections you may have. For little bit of editing, try Shotwell Photo Viewer.
Of course, you can always install other software like Audacious (similar to Winamp), VLC Media Player – one of the best movie players, or Gimp for photo editing, a completely free software aiming to be a Photoshop rival.
As you can see, Ubuntu provides you from the beginning with ready-to-go programs for making your daily life easier and, in the same time, offers hundreds of free, user-friendly tools to customize your computer experience.