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I've noticed a couple surprising blue icons in the new Unity panel.

I think I noticed the envelope glowed blue when I had a new message, and I think the BFB glowed blue when I had a wiggling application, but I can't be sure. I even think the volume indicator glowed blue at some point, but I can't get it to do so again.

I'm sensing there's some subtlety here that I'm missing. Is there a list/explanation?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

When an application alerts you or requires focus,a blue triangle would appear on the top-left of the Ubuntu button and an icon would also pop out and wiggle briefly.

application notification

The envelope will turn blue whenever you receive a new email or instant message.

envelope notification

When the system volume is muted and audio starts playing , the sound icon would turn blue for a brief period.

audio notification

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Hrm, the mute one doesn't seem to work too well. Seems simple enough, but playing with it a bit makes it seem unreliable. Is there more to it than it seems? – mlissner May 2 '11 at 2:18
@mlissner I think it may be cleverer than our attempts to get it to play... not quite sure what its criteria are. – 8128 May 2 '11 at 19:40
@fluteflute, yeah, either clever or dumber. Not sure which. – mlissner May 2 '11 at 23:50

The blue indicates something probably needs your attention:

  • Messaging Menu - blue is the new green. This means you have a new message/email/IM. Note that applications can mark notifications to not be as important - e.g. Gwibber's tweets (unless they're @you) will not cause the envelope to go blue.
  • Sound Menu - the only time I've seen this go blue. Is if your audio is muted, but there's some sort of sound notification trying to play. Not fully sure about that one.
  • The Ubuntu button (or bfb) - this goes blue (or gets the blue triangle) when an applications is requesting focus. This has some known bugs, for example starting GIMP always causes it to turn blue.
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