Votes are in and results are final: we are extremely proud to announce the winners of the Ubuntu App Showdown contest

Each and every one of the 133 apps that qualified for the contest were tested, reviewed and rated on Appearance, Stability, Platform Integration, Innovation and Scratching an Itch by our panel of 6 judges. Of these, only 3 of them made it to the shortlist and have won these awesome prizes, kindly sponsored by our friends at System76 and the Qt Project:

Gold Prize Silver Prize Bronze Prize

System76 Gazelle Professional laptop and Nokia N9 phone

System76 Lemur Ultra laptop and Nokia N9 phone

Nokia N9 phone

Presenting the Ubuntu App Showdown winners:

Gold prize: Lightread

Authors Jono Cooper and George Czabania about their app: “Lightread is a lightweight Google Reader client. Lightread works offline allowing you to get all your news and read it without an internet connection. With its stunning design and easy of use, Lightread is the best way to read news. It packs many of the features from Google Reader as well as Ubuntu specific features such as notifications and launcher integration.”

And it is a stunning app indeed. The astounding quality of the design, its functionality and integration with Unity were some of the key aspects that made Lightread the winner choice. For those of you who are technically-minded, Lightread also beautifully mixes HTML, CSS and Python code, in a way that shows the potential of apps created by Quickly and sets a new standard in application development in Ubuntu.

Download for Ubuntu button

Silver prize: Fogger

Developer Owais Lone not only put a lot of effort in creating a really innovative application, but also careful thought and design on a robust and powerful backend. The result was Fogger, a piece of software that supercharges the Ubuntu desktop by blurring the line between local and global, enabling users to capture and use the web transparently, just as if it were another regular application.

Fogger ticked all boxed in terms of innovation and scratching an itch. Not only that, but it independently pioneered an alternative implementation of the technology that will power webapps in future releases of Ubuntu. The team behind the contest organization would like to encourage further collaboration with the webapps team, who will welcome Owais experience to provide input and contribution to the webapps API. Fogger was another application created with Quickly.

Download for Ubuntu button

Bronze prize: Picsaw

Who said that with a simple idea you could not be innovative?. Author Robert Ancell, well known for his contributions in GNOME and Ubuntu, set up to demostrate just that with Picsaw: an app to create jigsaw puzzles with your favourite pictures.

Those of you who like jigsaw puzzles won’t get enough of Picsaw: it will surely join the ranks of the top games you first install in Ubuntu. Simplicity, coupled with a beautiful design and flow, show again the power that the Ubuntu platform puts in the hands of app developers.

Download for Ubuntu button

A big thanks to all participants and the ARB

We’d like to extend the congratulations not only to winners, but also to all participants in the contest. We were blown away by the passion and skill that you put in converting your idea to a fully functional app in just 3 weeks. Not only the results were amazing, but each one of you made the first ever edition of the Ubuntu App Showdown a resounding success. You truly rock.

We would like to correspond this effort by making every participant a winner: as announced, all authors from qualified apps will get an Ubuntu T-shirt as a prize. Stay tuned for the details – we will get in touch with you soon!

A special mention goes to the Ubuntu App Review Board (ARB) and all other contributors that have helped doing the technical reviews, implemented fixes and made it possible to publish apps in the Ubuntu Software Centre. This is often hard work that despite its importance does not always get the credit it deserves. The Ubuntu Community team would like to extend the thanks to these awesome individuals, without whom the contest would have not been possible. Here’s to you!

But there’s more!

We’re not done with prizes yet! All apps (excluding winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes) are automatically classified for the next round: the community vote. As a user, everyone will now be able to vote on the contest apps, and the 3 new winners will each take  a Nokia N9 smartphone home.

Again, stay tuned to this blog and the Ubuntu App Developer social media channels for the exact details and the announcement of the community vote start date.

Really excited to see the growing interest and progress made in app development in Ubuntu!

Follow Ubuntu App Development on:

Social Media Icons by Paul Robert Lloyd

  • amithkk

    Awesome! Congrats to all the devs

    Also, you have the typo under the first paragraph under “But there’s more!”
    *next round

    • David Planella

      Fixed, thanks!

  • Chuan EasyHorpakcom

    very nice

  • stefanie

    Congratulations to the winners but I’m also a bit frustrated. I updated your request for my app 4 weeks ago and heard nothing after. Will my app be least in the software center?

    • David Planella

      Hi Stefanie,

      I’m sorry to hear that, and apologies for the delay. Rest assured that your app was reviewed and rated by the judges. If any of the judges left comments or feedback, we’ll forward them to you (same as all other participants).

      We’ve been working hard to publish the contest apps into the Software Centre, but we’ve been overwhelmed by the success of the App Showdown. While 133 apps made it to the final list, we’ve actually processed 150, and it does take time.

      The majority of the individuals doing the technical reviews and publishing apps into the Software Centre are volunteer contributors, so while they commit their time to app reviews and do an awesome job at it, that time is also limited.

      What I would recommend you do for your particular app is to send an e-mail to the Ubuntu App Review Board mailing list with a reminder that you’ve applied the requested changes and asking if someone could have a look at it. Here’s the e-mail address of the ARB list:

      Thanks for your understanding.

  • Pingback: Ubuntu App Showdown – Die besten Programme | Softwareperlen

  • h4xp3t

    So what does Fogger, like, actually, do? Googling for a bit turned up this:

  • Piotr Zagawa

    This is a clear message to Ubuntu developers world: “we don’t need native applications”.

    The best Ubuntu apps from today are HTML5 websites packed into custom browsers.

    • Roland Taylor

      This was my reaction as well.

      To be honest, while I did not participate this time (I started writing an app but it was a bit troublesome as I haven’t been keeping abreast with programming recently), I am disappointed in the choices.

      I believe there are some more useful native apps that could be on this list.

    • Owais Lone

      I don’t think that is the case at all. I think the message is: “We want beautiful looking, innovative and tightly integrated apps no matter how you choose to create them”

      • Asdfjkhurh Asldfkjhasdf

        Check out the review criteria, then all the 133 applications and judge yourself: Only LightRead should be 3rd or something like this, the other 2 apps after 5th-6th position…

        • David Planella

          If you are not happy with the results, you still have the chance to promote your app in the upcoming community vote!

          • Asdfjkhurh Asldfkjhasdf

            Hooray! Are you kidding me? As I can see the judges didn’t even know about the rules here (talking about the applications in the 3 first places)… ‘If you are not happy with the results’: I guess nobody would be happy with the results if he would know all the 133 applications. But there is this ‘community vote’ so as torelieve the pain -_-

      • Piotr Zagawa

        And because this really does not matter how you create them with, or if you can run them on Windows without problems – why the hell use Ubuntu?

        • Owais Lone

          So you use Ubuntu because software available for Ubuntu does not work on windows? Seriously? BTW Are you aware that QT and Gtk apps can also work on Windows. I don’t understand why people are so mad about lightread using html instead of Gtk. Yes, it has some flaws like non native theming but does that really matter if the app is this beautiful in the first place? Do users on android/iOS even care about the toolkit used to create apps as long as they work as advertised and look good

          • Piotr Zagawa
          • Owais Lone

            People don’t even know what Gtk or Html is. All they care about is if the app works not how it was developed. Facebook swicthed from html to iOS UI lib to make it faster on an underpowered ARM device as compared to the desktops. It doesn’t automatically mean that HTML is a bad choice as compared to Gtk. It really depends on what the app is trying to achieve. WebOS had it’s entire UI build in HTML and so does Boot2Gecko.

            My point is that it doesn’t matter what tools the lightread devs used as long as it works well.

          • Asdfjkhurh Asldfkjhasdf

            Why do you generalize it so much? The review criteria were very specific: me what Lightreadfulfilled from there except from Stability and Appearance…

          • Owais Lone

            I’m not arguing about the winners. May be some other apps deserved to win. That’s fine. What I’m saying is that we should not discriminate apps based on the tools they were built with; instead we should pay attention to the experience the apps provide.

        • Jake

          Because it is an alternative to Microsoft. There are problems with Ubuntu that a lot of designers just don’t “apt-get”. Get it? We used to have .bat files back in MS-DOS but U buntu takes a giant step backwards with having to type a code that doesn’t seem to be listed anywhere in the program. Apt-get and the like would be a choice for my vote with a program that has a menu which will do all these operations and even list the commands like the “cmd” in windows. The biggest reason I haven’t changed over completely.

          None of the veteran Ubuntu users can see the problem because they know all the codes. For a newbie, good luck, because you can’t find the commands or what they do. Be more like windows and less like MS-DOS, an obsolete and clunky structure that is so stark and barren as to be a complete turn-off. Many great things in Ubuntu but it gets nasty for a newbie when something like my wireless connection wasn’t working. Or when I needed a driver for one of my cards. My solution to both of these was to back up to version 10.04 or something like that. Installing 12 was really a task, one desktop still isn’t right. At that point I was in tune with your “why the hell use Ubuntu?”. But I haven’t quit yet but put it to the back burner for now.

  • shubham maheshwari

    c ongraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaats

  • Pingback: O? ????????? ??? ?? ??????? ??? Ubuntu App Showdown apps ??? Canonical

  • Pingback: Ubuntu App Showdown Results (Part 1) | Sean Michael Davis

  • Asdfjkhurh Asldfkjhasdf

    A puzzle? Really? I still cannot believe this :P

    • Andey

      yea that puzzle app looks kinda soft.

  • pixelistik

    I always thought Ubuntu was about making a great open operating system. Yet the Gold prize goes to an application that won’t work without an account on one specific platform. Made for a purpose for which we have a mature and open standard: RSS.

    I’m not saying that it’s not a good app. I’m not saying that it is useless. But I find it a weird signal to award it such a prize.

    • Asdfjkhurh Asldfkjhasdf

      Agreed. It doesn’t match many of the review criteria, as well!

  • Sandeep Reddy

    Congratulations to all the winners!


    I notice that my submission has still not been published to the Ubuntu Software Centre. If the apps haven’t been published yet, then why did it take so long to announce the winners after judging was finished?

  • Mohamed Semlali

    LightRead deserved it.

    • Asdfjkhurh Asldfkjhasdf

      Not the first place, though. Maybe third. You should test all the 133 applications to tell for sure if LightRead deserved it or not. Check and the review criteria, here:, I am not sure how LightRead ‘scratches an itch’ or ‘is innovative application’

  • H1523491

    I’m not satisfied about the third price too.

  • Owais Lone

    Only if cuttlefish had a decent enough UI. I’m sure it would have been among the top 3.

    • David Planella

      Indeed, I was really impressed by Cuttlefish too, and it would have received a higher score if the appearance criteria had been a bit more developed. In terms of functionality, it’s still pretty amazing, and I love the concept too!

  • Pingback: Gewinner des Ubuntu App Showdown bekannt gegeben |

  • lighthread is an awesome app! Would love to see an email client like that!!!

  • Pingback: ????????? ?????????? ???????? ????????????? ?????????? Ubuntu App Showdown | — ????????????? ?????? ? UNIX-????????

  • Arvant

    my apps zlizer and roundball are in133 appsbut in my apps status of this arePending review
    what is men? are my app innext round:the community vote ?

  • Why Required

    “Picsaw: it will surely join the ranks of the top games you first install in Ubuntu.”

    ….really? Really?! The state of games on Ubuntu is still THAT bad?

    Ok, sorry, it’s not really my style to put out a lot of stop energy when someone else is doing something, anything. But given the usual state of the games say included in GNOME, I’m not that surprised. The thing is, that the people writing sentences like the one above, or developing the included games, well, they just aren’t playing any games themselves. Not really. So the question becomes, how do we attract some actual game makers to make games for the platform? Because really, stop energy or not, that was embarrassing.

  • Pingback:,ubuntu,software,news,reviews,articles » Blog Archive » Best Ubuntu Apps voted

  • dimitriosdiamantaras

    Wait a minute. Design-wise, Lightread seems to be a ripoff of Reeder on the Mac OS.

  • LHB

    OMG awesome! Next year it’ll be Worms and Minesweeper!

    Year of the Linux desktop is imminent!


  • ??????? ???????

    Seriosly? A puzzle?

  • Pingback: Canoncial App Wettbewerb: Die Sieger stehen fest | Linux / Computer Blog

  • ravi

    If these three abominations won, how bad must’ve been the other 130 apps?

    Ubuntu is giving Linux a bad name. The level of pathetic-ness is steadily increasing.

  • Sandeep Reddy

    To those who were qualified for the T-shirt, you might have got the link. Check your inbox. Just to be sure… on completing the survey and clicking done, does it redirect to I just want to be sure.

  • Pingback: Best of BASH Scripts | The Linux Action Show | Jupiter Broadcasting

  • Pingback: S05E13 – A Rose of a Hundred Leaves | Ubuntu Podcast

  • Pingback: How Lightread converted a reluctant RSS reader | RefuGeeks

  • Pingback: How the AppDevUploadProcess was written | Michael Hall

  • Pingback: Opening Ubuntu Up To the World | jonobacon@home

  • Qaghan

    A jigsaw puzzle!! LMAO SOMEONE KILL ME!

    The only somewhat interesting software in the top three is Fogger.

  • Arvant

    hi i dont receive my t-shirt from Ubuntu App Showdown :( :)