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Best apps? You be the judge

I know I have my favorites, and if you carry a smart phone, you have yours, too. I’m talking apps, as in applications. Those little programs for your phone designed to make your life easier, more fun, or both.

One of the fun events during the International Consumer Electronics Show was the Mobile Apps Showdown, put on by the same people who host the Last Gadget Standing Awards. You can read my report of the winners here:

(http://www.lvrj.com/blogs/onlineguy/CES_And_the_winners_are.html)

During the event, 10 app developers had four minutes each to tout their product. During the event I downloaded two of the apps — Clixtr and Geodelic, and plan to download and play with the DateCheck app, as it pulls information about any person from a bevvy of online databases, giving a potential date — or business partner — a dossier of knowledge.

I haven’t put Clixtr to the full test yet, but plan to dive into this photo-sharing app later this week. It uses the GPS location feature of the iPhone to determine where you are, then finds events created for photo sharing in Clixter. CES was an event, as other conventions and events in Las Vegas surely will be.

Geodelic is a new take on finding businesses using the location-based feature of the iPhone or Android phone. It puts business information, including company logos, into a flowing chart that you can easily scroll through. I found some of the data to be old, like the inclusion of The Beach nightclub that used to sit across from the Las Vegas Convention Center. It’s been gone for at least two years. I’ll stick with the Around Me app, which provides the same types of information, only more current.

Shazam was the one app I already had. I use it about once a week to help me find the name of a song or artist. If you don’t already have it, I suggest you get it, as its available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Palm.

Here’s a list of the 10 finalists in the Mobile App Showdown, with a brief description from the event site:

Shazam: What’s the name of that song playing in the bar or on the radio? Music-tagging app Shazam can scratch that itch.

Gwabbit: So slick, so simple. Gwabbit scans incoming BlackBerry emails, finds contacts, and instantly transforms them into contact records within your Outlook address book — all with a single mouse click.

DateCheck: The motto is look up before you hook up. The service is personal background checks sent straight to your phone.

Truphone: iTouch + Truphone = iPhone

BeejiveIM: This app supports just about every instant messaging service out there and keeps you logged into all of them at the same time while letting you hop between chats across multiple services.

TeleNav GPS Navigator: Transform your mobile phone into a walking, talking GPS device. TeleNav includes full-color maps with voice and onscreen turn-by-turn driving or walking directions, plus more than 10 million business listings with ratings and reviews, real-time traffic alerts with one-click rerouting.

SPB Mobile Shell: Give your Windows Mobile phone a facelift. SPB Mobile Shell is a next-generation user interface that boasts 3D animation, Facebook integration, kinetic scrolling, widgets, and multiple usability innovations.

Aha: The first driver-to-driver network, Aha connects drivers to live traffic reports from each other and to relevant information from the Internet. Record and share your own personal traffic reports to help those around you, or listen to a customized traffic channel on the roads you travel.

Clixtr: By creating an instant, location-aware mobile photo-sharing platform, Clixtr enables real-time event browsing by location or popularity. You can follow and contribute to events as they happen around the corner and around the world.

Geodelic: A free application that browses your surroundings, Geodelic lets you swipe through locations on your iPhone or Android phone to quickly find anything from a java joint to a dry cleaner or a cash machine. Over time, the app learns what you like, giving you personalized results.

See more about the contest at Mobile Apps Showdown site:
(http://mobileappsshowdown.com/)

This isn’t the only application awards in town, as I saw a notice on Twitter today of the 2009 Best App Ever Awards. They are accepting votes in several categories, including Most Useful App, Best Productivity Enhancer, Best Productivity Killer, Best App for Parents and Best App for Toddlers. There are about 20 additional categories.

Votes will be accepted through Jan. 31. The top five nominations in each category will be added to a list of five nomination from iPhone bloggers, developers and Web celebrities. Voting will resume when the finalists have been chosen.

Cast votes in all the categories here:

(http://bestappever.com/vote/)

What are my favorite apps? Public Radio, Photogenie, Dragon Dictation and Notespark. This week, anyway. Check them out for yourself.

How about you?

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