The is not much new as primary focus of GNOME developers is GNOME 3.0. The notable differences between this and previous releases are:
- Changed default font. A bit unusual at the beginning, but I quickly got used to it, so I don't feel much difference.
- Keyboard indicator. This one is what I'm not pleased at all. First of all the icon does not look like a keyboard to me. Also, now I can not see which is my current layout. Also, I don't think that using menu is good. Since there are only two layouts on my system, the older versions was better, as a single click switched layout, while now two clicks must be done. Hopefully I use Alt+Shift to switch layout. Having in mind that this is Ubuntu custom modification, it's disappointing, because doing nothing would be better.
- Some games no longer work. Swell Foop, Lights Off and Nibbles doesn't work anymore. Seems like a problem with GIR, but I don't know if this is Ubuntu specific, or more general bug.
- Metacity issues with menus. Few times it happened to me, that menu widget does not close properly and remains visible on screen (but is not repainted properly). A work around for the problem is to press Alt+F2, open gconf-editor and disable and enable again compositing for metacity.
To summarize: this release is not as good as 10.04 was. Problems are minor so the release is rather good.
There are a lot of dispute about Ubuntu's decision to switch to Unity as default desktop for next release. That doesn't please me, as I like GNOME. I tries GNOME Shell in the past and I quite liked it. I haven't tried the most recent version yet, but I'm thinking of sticking with GNOME. For this reason this might be my last version of Ubuntu. I'm really thinking about switching to other distribution as I dislike current Ubuntu's direction.