Google has announced the Android Developer Challenge, with $10 million up for grabs.
The search company will award cash prizes ranging from $25,000 to $275,000 to developers whose apps are picked by a panel of judges. The challenge is designed to support the launch of the open mobile Android platform unveiled by Google last week.
"We've built some interesting applications for Android but the best applications are not here yet and that's because they're going to be written by developers," said Sergey Brin, president of Google. "We'd like to reward these developers and recognise them as much as possible."
Games were one of the suggested fields contestants could target with their apps - although Google is welcoming submissions for everything from productivity to social networking software or even programs with humanitarian benefits.
Today also saw the first look at the Android software developer kit, which includes documentation, sample projects, development tools, emulator and libraries that developers need to build an Android app.
It can be found on the Open Handset Alliance blog at http://android-developers.blogspot.com. The Open Handset Alliance is a group of more than 30 technology and mobile industry companies brought together by Google to support Android.
Android Developer Challenge will take place in two phases. Submissions for Challenge I will be accepted from January 2 to March 3, 2008, with the 50 most promising entries each receiving $25,000 awards to fund further development.
These 50 entries will then be eligible for greater recognition by applying by May 1, 2008 for ten awards worth $275,000 each and another ten worth $100,000 each.
Challenge II will launch after the first handsets built on the platform become available in the second half of 2008. Prizes will be awarded to the developers whose apps make the best use of the Android platform.
Additional information about the Android Developer Challenge can be found here.