First of all, AriOS looks fantastic. This Orta Gnome Shell theme with the Faience-Azur icon theme, the elegant conky that shows useful information on the left, the Adwaita X-light window theme and the white cursor give a great first impression to the user. Details? Maybe, but these details show both the pursuit of user-pleasure that the developers have, and their taste for elegance which is very good indeed.
There are many extensions that bring the 3.4 version of the Gnome Shell that AriOS is running to a completely higher level of functionality and transform the usability of Gnome Shell to something of a parallel logic and value for anyone.
No extension steps on the way of another as they all harmonically compose a successful attempt to provide users with all they need in the simplest, but also the most natural way. Examples are found everywhere as every corner seems to be filled with exactly what this corner was made to be filled with!
Some of the elements that compose a more “traditional” approach include the Axe menu that replaces the overview when activities are clicked, a settings center extension that brings all the settings under one menu in the user menu, the media player indicator and the show desktop button extension. By default, the desktop is utilized as icons of places are present and the windows use minimize and maximize buttons.
This is where AriOS shows its wisdom (as unfit as this adjective may sound). It is easy to just overload a distribution with tons of applications and tools that a user may or may not need just in case, and exactly the same easy is to offer one little tool and application in every category that does almost 25% of what a user will probably actually need at some point. What is really difficult is to create a system that will truly offer exactly what most users need, combined with what they will probably need at some point according to reality. Confused?
There is nothing missing here, but at the same time there is nothing that you won’t use at least once a month. You will find a carefully selected set of applications many of which you may not even know about like myPaint, Boot Repair or Gnome Subtitles. Even Satya’s GTK Settings are present!
As the heart of AriOS is Ubuntu 12.04, you can use the super-easy to use Ubuntu Software Center to gain access to any additional application or tool you want. This also gives the ability to run Unity if you don’t like the default Gnome Shell but you will get neither the elegance of a custom DE, nor the sense of a Persian distribution.
Other more “classic” pre-installed applications are VLC 2.0.3, LibreOffice 126.96.36.199, Chromium 20, Firefox 15.0.1 and Virtualbox 4.1.12. Media codecs and java are also pre-installed.
Many times we think about and we judge software and operating systems according to what they really are instead of what they really offer to the user. What AriOS 4.0 is, is an Ubuntu 12.04 with a themed and extended Gnome Shell 3.4.1 as default DE and extra applications and tools included by default. Doesn’t sound impressive does it?
What AriOS offers to the user is that sense of magically achieved perfection that many distributions out there aim for, but very few actually meet. I don’t care about how much work AriOS developers actually put or not into this distribution and it doesn’t really matter to the user. What matters is their choices and touches. Nothing is too much and nothing falls short. Everything is just perfect!*
*Except for the fact that it comes in 32-bit only :(