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Google Releases Android SDK, $10M for Developers

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The Google-led Open Handset Alliance has released the Android Software Development Kit (SDK). The Android SDK needs an x86-based computer running Windows XP or Vista; Mac OS 10.4.8 or later; or Linux Ubuntu Dapper Drake or later (other modern distributions of Linux will also likely work but are not directly supported). Download it here. (More details are here.)

In addition, Google also announced the Android Developer Challenge, which will provide $10 million to developers who build mobile applications for Android. This includes cash prizes ranging from $25,000 to $275,000 to developers whose applications are picked by a panel of judges. (Given my skepticism, no chance I am going to be on that panel ;-)

* The $10 million will be divided between the Android Developer Challenge I and II.
* Submissions for Challenge I will be accepted from Jan. 2 through March 3, 2008.
* 50 most promising entries will be picked by end of March 2008 with each receiving $25,000 awards for further development.
* These 50 entries can also compete for 10 awards worth $275,000 each and another 10 worth $100,000 each.
* Challenge II will launch after the first handsets built on the platform become available in the second half of 2008.

Do you plan to start building apps for Android? If you are a developer and would like to share your opinions/thoughts, please drop us a line or send us a link to your blog.

28 Responses to “Google Releases Android SDK, $10M for Developers”

  1. Yuri Ammosov

    Interesting things begin popping out.

    Due to a technical limitation, currently it’s not possible to deploy a
    library so that it is accessible from multiple applications. Each
    application that wishes to use a given library must have a copy of that
    library included in its .apk file. Unfortunately, the only way to deploy a
    library so that’s accessible to all installed applications is to include it
    with the core system image — that is, include it with the handset itself.

    Regarding SIP specifically, there is an XMPP service that can be used to
    pass messages between devices:

    This will allow two devices to identify each other when online, and exchange
    messages. Currently to use that service you must have a Google Login.

    picked here –

    In other words, you can have your Android in any flavor, as long as it is Google-based.

    More “open source” revelations to come, I guess.

  2. I agree with reto on the open mobile platform. If you look at other mobile platforms( exceptions like symbian), there are lot of restrictions when it comes to accessing the core functionality of handset. From my personal experience, if your startup depends on handsets vendors, then chances of success is in the mercy of vendor. Open mobile platform is great start, I’m very positive- this will have a major impact in the way applications are written on handset. I have installed the android on my laptop, was able to build the app in less than 5 minutes. Pretty cool..

  3. The idea of awarding developers is great – this way they get a lots of heads thinking about possibilities of building cool apps for mobiles and it also generates interest/news/hype for the platform in time for second half of next year when the phones supporting Android are really out in market.

  4. The fall of the Berlin Wall comes to mind! Exciting times ahead :P

    It will get ugly for the carriers if they resist Android handsets but I’m still chewing on Nokia’s fate. I doubt they’ll will want to prop up Symbian forever; allowing Samsung and HTC to blow past them.

    I imagine the move from Palm and Win mobile will be fast and furious.

  5. solution looking for a problem ?

    Maybe I’m missing something but I agree with Reto that this open approach (not necessarily the money) is going to shake things up quickly and in a big and positive way.

    I’m already anxious to get rid of my nasty Palm Treo software (and maybe the whole phone) given that it won’t even synch anymore without me losing all my data. I envision a mobile future where my phone, PC, GIS, picture, and online needs all merge seamlessly, are accessible from all my devices easily and without any extra steps, and where I pay nothing for services in exchange for viewing ads or pay something if I want to get rid of the ads.

    Open Handset is going to make that happen fast, and I wish them well.

  6. Interesting. Seems like a great boon for Google (propellerhead) fanatics. Hopefully the legions of open source wizards that’ll be flocking to this will let the $10M bribe inspire them to create a truly warm, more engaging experience, and an accompanying marketing outreach program that’s geared towards the larger marketplace. Maybe even innovate. That’d be cool. Otherwise, it’s just another phone.

  7. @Nick: Have you used a mobile phone lately? Let alone tried to write an application for one? If so the problem should be pretty apparent.

    The idea of being able to write a mobile phone app that can take advantage of things like GPS and SMS and isn’t walled in to a Java Middlet is pretty appealing from a development perspective. Thinking of what developers will make with this is very appealing from a phone user’s perspective.

  8. I’m going to be all over this, and I think you’ll find independent developers from all over the world will be to. There’s never been a development environment for phones that provides this much functionality (full access to the phone) at zero cost. No development license, no distribution license, no handset purchase.

    This $10m challenge is smart too. By splitting it in two, they’ll build up the hype in March and still encourage more development for release with the handset.