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April 9, 2013

Wikipedia app wins Windows Phone Next App Star contest

An app star is born. After three weeks and more than 600,000 votes, Rudy Huyn of Renne, France and his highly-rated Wikipedia app have won our Windows Phone Next App Star competition, edging out the photography app ProShot from Roseville, Calif-based Eddie Kezel in a white-knuckle contest finale.

And, man, was it close: Out of thousands of final round ballots, in the end just 155 separated the two finalists—a testament to just how tough this choice was for voters and how good each of these apps is. (Really, you want both on your phone.) But the people have spoken, and so Huyn’s app has earned a spot in a future primetime Windows Phone TV commercial. Congrats, Rudy!

Huyn’s victory is well deserved. Wikipedia —which after nearly 8,000 customer reviews maintains a perfect five-star average rating— is a tour de force reference app with tons of bells and whistles: It uses the phone’s location to find relevant articles and supports speech recognition, NFC sharing, QR codes, and services such as Pocket (formerly Read It Later) and Instapaper. You can also search in more than 100 languages.

A big thanks to everybody who voted in the competition—which, as Todd Brix notes today on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, started with more than 9,100 app hopefuls from 79 countries. During the competition we also held 21 daily giveaways for a free Nokia Lumia 920 with Windows Phone 8 (a pairing that earned still more accolades this week from LAPTOP magazine readers and editors).

Check out this brief video interview with Rudy and walkthrough of his app. There’s also more about him on the contest’s Facebook page.

Any fans out there? Which app did you want to win?