Google declares $10M Android competition open

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The race to develop applications for Google’s new Android mobile phone platform is officially on after ‘cross-platform bugs’ in the submission system were fixed.

Google has allocated $10m to the competition which has been split into two parts. Challenge 1 will be accepting entries until March 3rd with a total prize pool of $5m.

The Android competition is designed to generate lots of apps, not just a few good ones, as the total prize available to any one entry is only $275,000.

The March 3rd deadline is interesting timing indeed given Apple’s recent announcement that they’ll be releasing an iPhone/iPod Touch SDK in ‘late’ February. It also raises questions for coders – commit to a platform that is essentially unproven (remember, Google has really only had major success with search and advertising, and not with most of their other products) or develop for iPhone, Windows Mobile or BlackBerry with proven platforms and substantial installed bases.

If you want to win some of that prize money you’ll need to fulfill a few important criteria. Firstly, your application will need to be or do something original. Google is looking to the development community for the killer app — the one that’s going to make people switch to Android. While Android’s base features should be good, Google knows that it’ll take more to get their new phone into users hands, especially with competition in the smartphone space ramping up significantly against the iPhone.

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