After six rounds of public voting during the past three weeks – and more than 600,000 total votes – the winner of Windows Phone Next App Star contest was crowned. The winning app is Wikipedia, by independent French developer Rudy Huyn, and his app will be featured in a future primetime Windows Phone TV commercial in the US.
“Congratulations Wikipedia, Windows Phone Next App Star grand champion. This contest showed thousands of beautiful apps that make your phone a more personal experience,” said Todd Brix, General Manager of the Windows Phone Apps and Store Team.
The competition for this contest was fierce – initially, more than 9,000 apps from 79 countries were submitted. From those choices, 64 apps were featured in the contest – an even split of free and paid apps.
Windows Phone hosted a round-robin style online bracket contest, where apps went head-to-head over a period of six rounds to get down to the final two choices.
The final two came down to Wikipedia, and the photo-editing app ProShot. And, according to the Windows Phone blog, “in the end just 155 [votes] separated the two finalists—a testament to just how tough this choice was for voters and how good each of these apps is.”
Interestingly, the final two apps in this contest were submitted by independent developers – and not from big brand-name companies. Both of these high quality apps (the numerous 4 and 5 star reviews in Windows Phone Store speak for themselves) came from developers who work very closely with Nokia, too. Rudy is a Nokia Developer Champion and ProShot comes from California-based DVLUP member Eddie Kezeli at Rise Up Games.
In creating ProShot, Eddie says he wanted to give Windows Phone owners the same level of control over key image-making elements that you would find in a traditional DSLR camera, such as shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and aspect ratio. “Big features should not be limited to big cameras,” he says.
In developing the free Wikipedia app, Rudy wanted to “put a complete encyclopedia in your pocket.” And – as those who use the app know – not only is there a ton of information packed inside, it uses many of the phone’s features to enhance the functionality of the app. It uses the phone’s location to find relevant articles; it supports speech recognition, NFC sharing and QR codes; and includes services like Pocket (formerly Read It Later) and Instapaper. And you can conduct searches in more than 100 languages.
Over the past few years, Rudy has developed more than 45 applications. You can get to know more about this self-described “Windows Phone Addict” in this short video profile:
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