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Google puts $10m on the table for Android apps

Develop applications for non-existent phones and win $275K

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Understanding that developers need to be bribed to create applications for a new mobile platform, Google has put up $10m in prizes for the best Android apps.

The Android Developer Challenge comes in two parts: the first runs until March 2008 and awards $25K apiece to the best 50 applications. The second leg kicks off only when some Android handsets available - which should be some time in the second half of 2008. This will see ten winners walking away with $257,000 with ten runners-up getting $100,000.

Putting up prizes to drive mobile development is nothing new, and while the Android Developer Challenge might offer more money, it comes without the promise of marketing and licensing assistance that normally accompanies such promotions (though the value of that varies widely).

Android is, in theory, the child of the newly-formed Open Handset Alliance, but Google is hosting the SDK (software developer's kit) and Google is putting up the money.

The competition comes as the Android SDK is also launched, so developers can download and start coding (using an emulated device) immediately.

We'll be taking a more detailed look at the Android SDK in the next day or two, but if you can't wait then the details are available from Google. ®

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