By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
January 27, 2012

The results of the “People’s Choice” app award are announced at Macworld|iWorld

A record 1.5 million votes were cast earlier this month in the fourth annual Best App Ever contest, more than three times as many as last year. Created in 2008 by 148Apps — a smartphone app-tracking website named after the maximum number of apps that could be installed on Apple’s (AAPL) original iPhone — its purpose, according to founder Jeff Scott, “is to help publicize the very best apps available, not just the best-selling apps.”

It’s not a bad idea. There are a dizzying number of mobile applications to choose from, especially if you include — as Scott did this year for the first time — apps for Google (GOOG) Android devices. This year,

  • 1,692 apps were nominated
  • By 1.1 million users
  • 53.9% of the votes were cast for iOS apps
  • 46.1% for Android apps

And the winner, with 36,431 votes, nearly ten times the number the nearest Android app drew, was (wait for it)

Jetpack Joyride, for the iPhone or iPad

Created by Halfbrick Studios, an Australian firm best known for the 2010 game phenom Fruit Ninja (more than 30 million downloaded), Joyride is a retro throw-back to the one-touch jump-and-run horizontal scrolling games of the Super Mario Bros. era packed — like any addictive game — with just enough twists, missions, prizes and upgrades to keep players coming back for “just one more.”

The app is free on the iTunes App Store (here), but you can buy your way to higher levels with in-app purchases like the popular coin doubler ($0.99).

Jetpack Joyride had already won editorial accolades from publications ranging from the TouchArcade to the New Yorker. Now the people — or at least 1.1 million of them — have made their choice.

Below the fold: The official trailer that tells the backstory of why Barry Steakfries is scattering evil scientists with a machine-gun powered jetpack in the first place, but you don’t need it to enjoy the game. The full list of winners and honorable mentions in 148Apps’ other 108 (!) categories is available here.

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