Google today announced a $10 million challenge for developers to build mobile applications for its forthcoming Android mobile OS. Android was announced last Monday, instead of the widely expected GPhone handset. The SDK is here and information about the challenge are here.
Earlier this fall, Google dedicated $30 million to the X Prize to get to the moon. Today's Android announcement may be more modest, but it's exciting none the less.
Read on for details and a video with a demo of some in-house developed Android apps.
The contest will run in two parts. In part 1, the 50 most promising applications submitted between January and the third of March 2008 will receive $25,000 to fund further development. Top applications from that list of winners will then receive 10 prizes of $100,000 and 10 prizes at $250,000. Those are not insignificant sums.
The list of topics Google says it is interested in seeing apps developed for include: * Social networking * Media consumption, management, editing, or sharing, e.g., photos * Productivity and collaboration such as email, IM, calendar, etc. * Gaming * News and information * Rethinking of traditional user interfaces * Use of mash-up functionality * Use of location-based services * Humanitarian benefits * Applications in service of global economic development * Whatever you're excited about!
Apparently "ad serving" is one part of Android that Google can take care of on its own.
The company announced details of the contest on its new Android Developers blog (zero subscribers as of today, that's an unusual sight on a Google blog!).
There's also an already active Google Group dedicated to discussing the challenge.