Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

TopFeed is a new smart feed widget that lets you stay up to date with your favorite websites by displaying the latest news on your Ubuntu desktop.

TopFeed Ubuntu

The application presets all the feed items in a single column and tries to move what it thinks are the more important news to the top of the widget. The importance of news items is determined based on the following factors:
  • the number of times the item was read by others;
  • the number of times the item was up (or down) voted;
  • how fresh the item is;
  • the priority you give to the feed that contains the item;

Because of this social feature, you must create an account to use TopFeed. But don't worry, the registration is quick and you don't even have to enter your email address.

The news items open in a custom browser integrated with TopFeed - from there, you can upvote or downvote the news item, star it, navigate to the next or previous news items, open the link in your default web browser or share it on Facebook or Twitter.

TopFeed Ubuntu

TopFeed Ubuntu

From the application preferences, you can add feeds (don't try to add websites, it won't work - use the RSS feed link instead), change the font face or size, the number of text lines, opacity, auto-refresh interval or set the application to start automatically when you log in (this behavior is disabled by default).

Resizing and moving TopFeed

Since TopFeed is a desktop widget, by default you can't move or resize it. But you can do this by clicking the expand button (it's next to the refresh button) - this will temporarily enable the window decorations so you can resize or position the widget to another location. Once you're done, click the same button to hide the decorations. You can also move the widget by holding the ALT key while dragging the widget with the mouse.

In my opinion, the only missing feature is a way to easily spot new items - I'd love to see a system similar to the one used on Google+. Other than that, TopFeed is a great app/widget that comes with all the features you need: it's smart, customizable and doesn't get in your way.

Install TopFeed in Ubuntu

TopFeed is available in the Ubuntu Software Center (it's free to use at the time I'm writing this article, but it uses a proprietary license), for Ubuntu 13.10 and 13.04. It doesn't work properly under Ubuntu 12.10 and 12.04!

Click the button below to install TopFeed:

topfeed USC

Or, search for "TopFeed" in Ubuntu Software Center (you can also find it in the What's New section).

Thanks to Pouria for the tip!