Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

App Grid is a new lightweight Ubuntu Software Center alternative that tries to make application discovery easier by using a grid view which includes app screenshots and ratings.

Even though this is the first public release, App Grid already comes with most features you'll need, like software search, app review and purchase and more. As for the design, the application reminds me of Muon Discover, a Muon Suit front-end that tries to make it easier to find new software, a goal shared with App Grid.

Below you can see some App Grid screenshots:

App Grid - main view

Games category

You've probably noticed that some applications have a green circle displayed around the application icon - that means they are already installed.

The application page displays an install / launch / remove button, screenshots, a short description along with user comments. Clicking on the comments extends the section and you can filter them by rating, language, Ubuntu version or write a review:



App Grid features:
  • discover new apps every time you open App Grid;
  • search, filter and sort to find exactly what you're looking for;
  • make informed decisions with our extensive detail views;
  • sign in with your Ubuntu One account to review and purchase apps.

Below you'll find a technical comparison between App Grid and Software Center, done by the AppCenter developer (the tests were performed on a Dell Mini 9):
  • python3 vs python2;
  • warm start to home screen is 2.7s vs 20s;
  • warm start to details screen (eg opening an apt: link) is 2.3s vs 30s;
  • full database build is 58s vs 6min24;
  • initial database size is 36.7mb vs 96.5mb;
  • memory usage after startup to home screen is 20mb vs 53.6mb;
  • lines of code is somewhere around 5900 loc vs 56960 loc (incl tests etc).

Note: AppGrid is currently proprietary. Its Launchpad page says "Other/Proprietary, I don't know yet" so the developer may change his mind.

Install App Grid in Ubuntu

App Grid is available in a PPA for Ubuntu 13.04 only for now. Update: the application is now available for Ubuntu 12.04, 12.10, 13.04 and 13.10. Add the PPA and install App Grid using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:appgrid/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install appgrid

Report any bugs you may find @ Launchpad.