Android Developer Challenge: Early Apps Lookin' Sharp
Google has just wrapped up the Android Developer Challenge that it announced back in November. Android, of course, is Google's Linux-based mobile platform, slated to show up in a wave of new mobile phones later this year. The developer challenge put up $10 million in prize money, with prizes ranging from $25,000 to $275,000 for applications that panel judges deemed to be innovative. eWeek has a slideshow of ten of the award winners and here are some thoughts about what these applications say about Android and open source.
Here are ten of the winners in the Android Developer Challenge, as reported by eWeek:
- AndroidScan: This application allows users to find prices and reviews for anything with a bar code. It also searches stores for available products.
- BioWallet: This app is a biometric authentication system for Android. It scans a user's iris for recognition.
- Commandro: This app uses GPS data to display on maps location-based information about where your friends are relative to you.
- PedNav: PedNav creates a personal itinerary based on information you input about what you plan to do today.
- Eco2Go: Eco2Go is an application designed to let you track your carbon footprint and do a better job of going green.
- Teradesk: Teradesk is a file virtualization platform for online file storage, remote access and collaboration. It presents you with folders for images, music, backups, and more.
- Social Monster: This app is an ad-hoc social planning tool. It lets you send invitations to others and share your plans.
- Multiple Facets Instant Messenger: This is a slick-looking location-aware IM client.
- Mobeedo: Look out Google. Mobeedo is a very impressive looking mobile search platform.
- LReady Emergency Manager: This application tracks disaster alerts and lets you communicate with others in multichannel ways during a disaster.
As you can see from eWeek's collection of ten award-winning Android apps (make sure to look at the cool screenshots), far-flung developers are creating very diverse applications for Android. This will be absolutely necessary as we start to see Android-based phones begin to compete with other phones.
In fact, I think Google should not stop at just $10 million in prize money, and set up a business development fund for Android applications. Apple has a $100 million fund to seed iPhone applications, and RIM has just announced a $150 million fund to seed Blackberry applications. It would be great to see financial incentives put in place for open source developers who would like to build useful applications for Android. One thing's for sure: The more competition we see from open source efforts on the Android platform, the better.