Taadaa: We have 10 Apps Showdown Finalists!

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And now, finally, there are 10.  Just 10.  Only 10.  As in Top 10.

With this post, we are pleased to present to you 9 of the 10 apps that have been declared by our judges as the very best among the dozens submitted to this edition of Mobile Apps Showdown.  Why nine? One that we evaluated remains under wraps until its official early January debut, a consideration permitted by our rules.

So drum roll please.  Our finalists are:

1. DriveSafe.ly 2.0, an app that aims to protect drivers from their own text-hungry fingers.

2. IDEAL Item ID, a free, open source, talking barcode reader and barcode maker that allows the visually impaired to identify things..

3. Line2, which adds a second number to your iPhone or Android phone.

4. ooVoo Multiparty Mobile Video Chat, a video chat service with both video and voice calling that can accommodate up to six people.

5. Pageonce Personal Finance, which allows you to stay atop many of your personal finance accounts and all from a single place.

6. Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite, a full-featured productivity suite to view and edit Microsoft Office documents.

7. Twonky Mobile, streams personal and online media from your Android phone to any Web-connected gadget or device.

8. SwiftKey, one of the smartest and swiftest predictive keyboards we’ve seen for a mobile device.

9. WebMD Mobile, which brings to the smartphone the medical resource site’s top tools, including  its Symptom Checker, a comprehensive drug, supplement and vitamin treatment database, and essential first aid information.

10. To be announced.

Because they’ve been so stringently vetted by our 10 judges—the folks from the NetShelter Technology Media network whose faces you see on the right hand side of this page–these are the apps that deserve your time and attention, those most worthy of the precious real estate available on your own smart phone.

But this announcement doesn’t complete the competition. Now we’re headed for a final showdown.  It’ll take place before a live audience at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 8.

Starting at 12:30 p.m. that day, presenters for each of the 10 apps will be given four minutes — and four minutes only — to convince the live audience gathered in Room N257 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center that their mobile solution is the one app that deserves the attention the Mobile Apps Showdown competition promises to rain upon the victor.

If you’re going to CES, you can also have a voice — literally — in determining our champion.  After all 10 finalists have been presented on stage on Saturday, Jan. 8, a winner will be determined by the audience itself in attendance.

And if you can’t be there, you can still have your say by voting to select an online winner at our Winner-Take-All Ballot Box page.  A lively vote is already well underway.  See for yourself.