Windows Phone Next App Star: The final four apps and the developers behind them

It’s hard to believe we’re down to the final 4 in our Windows Phone Next App Star contest. But from 9,000 apps submitted by developers in 79 countries, then narrowed to 64 apps, then voted by the public down to 32, 16, and 8… here we are. We’d like to introduce you to the impressive talents of the final four developers and the exceptional apps they’ve created. And you’ll be seeing one of these apps in action as part of our contest grand prize—the top app will be featured in a nationwide Windows Phone TV ad in the US. Voting on this round continues through 11:59pm PST tonight, Friday, April 5, 2013. Learn about these apps and decide who to vote for to push forward to the championship round. Oh, and did I mention every vote is an entry to win a Nokia Lumia 920*?

Three brothers — Emad, Iyad, and Zeyad Ejielat — working out of Australia and Jordan via Skype, created Amazing Weather HD, which is well named. All three are involved professionally in computers and electronics (Zeyad is studying medicine, too). Their first app, created several years ago, was Stormy 7, which eventually became a full-fledged weather app. Amazing Weather HD takes vast amounts of weather info, then beautifully integrates it with the Windows Phone design. Amazing Weather HD also offers a dynamic lock screen, Live Tile, and has fluid, natural app navigation. This app offers in-depth weather info, served up as eye candy.

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Their app is matched up against Eddie Kezeli of Roseville, California, and his app ProShot. As Eddie describes his app, “ProShot brings a range of professional enhancements to the exceptional cameras found on Windows Phone 8 devices. So your already very smart smartphone becomes a DSLR camera — complete with adjustable shutter speeds, ISO, white balance, aspect ratio, and more. ProShot offers pro-level photography options, encouraging exploration and discovery from users at any skill level.” Eddie, who thinks of himself as a “computer doctor” and is both a Windows Phone enthusiast and karaoke champion, says of ProShot, “big features should not be limited to big cameras.”

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Rudy Huyn of Rennes, France, is a Windows Phone expert and big fan of the Microsoft mobile platform. He’s also a Windows Phone Development MVP and founded a French community of Windows Phone developers. Rudy loves Wikipedia so much that he wanted to create the ultimate Wikipedia app. Having “a complete encyclopedia in your pocket” was Rudy’s goal. His Wikipedia app uses location features to find articles relevant to where you are. You can search in more than 100 languages, with easy sharing on Facebook, Twitter, email – even through a QR code.

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That pocket encyclopedia is up against VoiceTranslator, an app developed by Sergey Svinolobov of Waltham, Massachusetts. Sergey won his first software contest – for programming calculators – in his home country of Ukraine at the young age of 15, and nearly 30 years later, he’s still developing and entering contests. Using the Windows Phone speech feature and integrated with the cloud, VoiceTranslator listens to you say a word or phrase, then says it back to you in almost any language you choose – more than 60 different languages are available. Sergey loves his “Star Trek gadget.” He said he’s released translator apps in the past, but recently thought, he said with a smile, “Why do I have to type?”

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If you still can’t make up your mind on which to vote for, check out Laura Foy’s Hot Apps show, which highlights each of these top apps.

 

Congratulations to our final 4, and thanks to all of our amazing Windows Phone Next App Star participants for their innovation and creativity.

 

* No purchase necessary. Open to registered Facebook account holders 18+. Ends 4/8/2013. See Official Rules for details.