|Ubuntu App Showdown 2012 was a Failure! What Will Happen This Year?|
|August 25, 2013|
A little over a year ago Canonical held the first ever Ubuntu App Showdown which resulted in some really cool apps like Fogger, LightRead and many more. Many of these apps brought some new innovative ideas to the Linux landscape especially with apps like Fogger. Unfortunately, in the long term, the Ubuntu App Showdown was a Failure! There were 130+ apps submitted to the App Showdown of which practically none of them have had any sort of 'active development'. I'm looking at 34 apps in this article which includes the 3 Main Winners, 3 Community Winners, 20 Must-Haves (as stated by OMG!U), and a few more to round out the article as well as the 1 app that provides the 3%, saving the Showdown from what would have been complete failure.
Main Winners from UAS 2012:
LightRead (First Place) - very nice RSS Reader app that integrated with Google Reader's Syncing. Google Reader has been terminated and thus LightRead is now completely broken since it relied entirely on Google Reader. Last updated was on 2012-10-05.
Fogger (Second Place) - was an innovative approach to WebApps by bringing them down from the cloud and to the desktop (hence the name, clouds as low as the ground = fog). This may not seem like an innovation as it certainly has been done before but the main power of Fogger was overlooked because each FogApp had an Independent Session. This meant you could make multiple YouTube FogApps and log into different accounts for each one to which all of the fogapps would keep a separate but persistent login session.
Fogger was the most dissappointing app to fail for me because it was an outstanding innovation and I even created some FogApps for it, most notably the Wunderlist FogApp.
Fogger does not provide downloads for releases but appears to have had one beta update on June (only update in over a year).
Picsaw (Third Place) - jigsaw puzzle game that uses your own photos to make puzzles. Last updated on 2013-05-07 which was the only update in a year.
Community Winners from UAS 2012:
Ridual (First Place) - a Dual-pane file manager for Ubuntu. Last updated on 2012-10-01. Ridual's page on GitHub warns that it should not be used. "It's in development stage now, so using Ridual is not recommended."
OrthCal (Second Place) - an Eastern Orthodox Calendar, showing the Feasts of the day both in the Julian (Old) calendar and the Revised Julian (New) calendar. It also comes with other tools, such as Feast finder and Pascha calculator. Last updated on 2012-10-22.
20 Apps that OMG!U claimed were Must-Haves:
There are MANY other apps that were in the Showdown:
I'm not going to go through all of them because that is 130+ but I will touch on a few that didn't get much attention like the above apps.
The Showdown was not a complete waste...
Thanks to Variety.
Variety is a wallpaper changer for Ubuntu which is featureful, yet slim and very easy to use. It can automatically download wallpapers from various online sources, allows rotating them on a regular interval or on demand, and provides easy to use ways to separate the great images from the junk. It even lets you have full control to filter images specific to your resolution size. If you are a multi-monitor user, you can limit the wallpapers to only fit your preferred resolution.
Variety was last updated on 2013-06-14 and has had active development throughout the year.
What will happen with 2013's App Showdown?
Canonical has announced a new App Showdown for this year but this time it will focus on Ubuntu Touch instead of the Desktop. It is anyone's guess whether moving the focus to the mobile apps will make a difference to the longevity of the Showdown apps but what we do know is that the first Showdown was far from a success. Out of the 34 apps listed above only 1 app continued development and is still an active project. That is a 3% "success" rate. On the bright side, it would be pretty hard to not at least make some improvement this time around.
What do you think went wrong with the Showdown? Do you think this year will be different?
Let me know in the comments below...
Update: this update is just to clarify something...for some reason people are complaining about something I didn't say. I am saying the Showdown was a failure. The point of the Showdown was to ignite the development community in Ubuntu but what it did was create a lot short term boosting that ended in almost everything fizzling out. People are claiming that I said these apps are failures but that is not at all what I said...to those who are complaining about something invented in their own head, please read an article before you comment on it.
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