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Math wins the Mobile App Showdown at CES 2013

At a crowded event in the North Hall at CES, an entertaining awards ceremony crowned this year's winner for best app at the show.

Mobile Apps Showdown
The team at Vision Objects were proud of the victory for MyScript Calculator. Photo by Jason Parker/CNET

LAS VEGAS--Every year at CES, the Mobile Apps Showdown pits dozens of downloads against one another to see which mobile app emerges as the best. This year's event was the biggest yet, and based on the excitement we saw there, we think it will only continue to grow.

Here's how it works: a panel of judges first narrows the pool of entrants down to 10 finalists. The developers of the finalists are then invited to present their apps to a live audience at the Mobile Apps Showdown here in Las Vegas, and the app that receives the loudest applause is crowned the winner.

This year, the 10 finalists in contention were:

At the end of the 10 presentations, the hosts of the event -- comedians Jon Hein and Gary Dell'Abate -- did a quick roll call with their applause-o-meter. When all was said and done, it was clear by the deafening cheers and applause that the winner of the coveted award was MyScript Calculator, a groundbreaking tool that lets you perform mathematical operations with freehand writing of expressions on your touch screen.

MyScript Calculator may not sound all that sexy, but the handwriting recognition technology that powers it is unquestionably impressive. It can recognize radical symbols, trigonometric functions, and of course basic arithmetic operations. It can even solve for variables. For more details on MyScript Calculator, check out CNET's First Take.

Also, this is the first year that a single app won both the in-person App Showdown award and the online People's Choice award -- a noteworthy achievement, indeed.