To drum up support for its operating system that won’t be available for sale until later this year, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) concocted the Android Developer Challenge, which encourages developers to create applications for cash awards. In the first round that ended April 14, 50 of the most promising entries received $25,000 to fund further development. Today, Google announced the 20 finalists, of which 10 will receive the top award of $275,000, and 10 will receive the lesser award of $100,000. Yesterday, Google confirmed it will launch a beta version of Android Market to provide a way for developers to distribute their applications.
There’s a list of all the finalists here, but here’s highlights from the winners:
$275,000 Award winners:
— cab4me: the application helps you easily call a cab from any location worldwide, without having to know the phone number. The app also provides you with your current location.
— GoCart: Let’s you compare prices by taking a picture of a barcode. It recommends online prices and stores nearby.
— Ecorio: The app tracks your carbon footprint, and suggests transit and carpooling alternatives to help you offset your trips.
— TuneWiki: Is a “social media player” that lets you synchronize lyrics for audio or video. It also shows music maps, which displays songs playing in the same area.
$100,000 Award Winners:
— BreadCrumbz: The navigation tool shows you real pictures of your route as you follow directions.
— Maverick: This is a Google Talk compatible instant messenger and a Google Blogger publishing tool for Android.
— Rayfarla: Play music-based games and make music with your phone using virtual musical instruments.
— Teradesk e-Storage: This on the practical side of things. Teradeks is a virtual storage and remote file access app allowing people to keep their files in the cloud and make them accessible anywhere.