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Google announces $10 million contest for Android application development

Google last week announced the Android Developer Challenge, which will provide $10 million to developers who build promising applications for its Android platform.

The Internet giant is looking to spark innovation on the Android platform by awarding cash prizes ranging from $25,000 to $275,000 to developers whose applications are picked by a panel of judges. In a statement, Sergey Brin, co-founder and president for technology at Google, said that while his company had already built some interesting applications for the Android platform, developers would ultimately write the most innovative applications.

Android was first announced on Nov. 5 by the Open Handset Alliance, a group of more than 30 technology and mobile industry leaders formed to foster the development of technologies that will lower the cost of developing and distributing mobile devices and services. The platform is designed to give mobile operators, device manufacturers and developers all the software needed to run a mobile phone through an open platform. It is a fully integrated software stack comprising an operating system, middleware, user-friendly interface and applications.

The $10 million total in the Android Developer Challenge will be distributed equally throughout two phases of the contest, Android Developer Challenge I and II. Submissions for Challenge I will be accepted from Jan. 2 through March 3, 2008, and the 50 most promising entries will be recognized by the end of March, with each receiving $25,000 awards to fund further development. These 50 entries will then be eligible for more recognition by applying by May 1, 2008, for 10 awards worth $275,000 each, and another 10 worth $100,000 each. Recognition for the top applicants among those entries will be announced by the end of May 2008.

Challenge II will launch after the first handsets built on the platform become available in the second half of 2008.

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