Vodafone AppStar European finalists – get voting!

We’re not always convinced by the developer initiatives of mobile operators but we can’t argue with a good old fashioned mobile app competition when there’s cold hard cash up for grabs.

Enter Vodafone’s AppStar, which today announced the regional winners in its Europe-wide competition, each of whom have already bagged €25,000. They’ll now go head-to-head against the seven other country winners in a public vote to decide the overall winner of the competition and claim a total prize of €100,000. Not bad for writing a few lines of code. (I’m joking, of course.)

For Vodafone, it’s all about attracting a new generation of mobile app developers to its JIL platform, a cross industry effort to standardise on mobile widgets (web standards-based apps) that target multiple handsets and platforms. As an example, the UK winner is 18-year old Mark Salvin, a first year Computer Science student at Southampton University, who according to the PR was writing HTML and Javascript from the age of 12. His Jogger Tracker widget uses GPS to calculate information such as the amount of calories burned.

Here’s a run down of all of the finalists.

Lootogo: The world’s first toilet search engine where you can evaluate toilets and find the best toilets wherever you are. (Germany)

Social Whale: An extended social media client with support for Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Identica and Google reader. (Greece)

Dublin Bus Info: Uses your mobile GPS to find bus stops near you in Dublin whilst providing bus stop and timetable information. (Ireland)

Cool Traveling: Allows you to plan a trip around Italy in a simple and cost effective way with all services (train, plane, weather forecast and accommodation) directly available from your mobile. (Italy)

Happy Birthday: A new, improved version of the best birthday reminder there is. Don’t ever forget the birthdays you most care about again. (Netherlands)

FlickrShow: Accesses Flickr in an unprecedented way, offering stunning slide slows and allows you to search photos by keyword, username, colour and even by location using your phone’s GPS. (Portugal)

Yata!: A location based application in which Yata users can share information and vote for the best things in any given area of Spain. It offers user generated geo-located info created by other users in your area, so you can easily see their recommendations and tags on a map. (Spain)

Jogger Tracker: Uses GPS to calculate information such as the amount of calories burned and distance travelled during a run. Info is then stored on the handset and converted into a graph. (UK)

Voting takes place from today till 21st of May and voters will be entered into a prize draw to win one of ten Samsung H1 devices. The results of the public vote, and the overall winner of the Vodafone AppStar competition will be announced on 24 May 2010.