Google announces Android Market and Android Challenge winners
Google has announced it is developing an Applications Market for the Android mobile phone platform, and announced the winners in the Android Developer Challenge – twenty applications which will probably be in the distribution channel.
Eric Chu announced the first details of the Android Market on a posting on the Android Developers Blog. Chu says that the plan is to make Android Market an open content distribution system, with developers signing up, uploading and publishing their applications and users rating the applications in a similar way to video rating on YouTube. Chu added that Google decided on the term "market" rather than "store", "because we feel that developers should have an open and unobstructed environment to make their content available", in a subtle dig at Apple's App Store which already making $1 million a day.
Android Market is in an early development phase, with decisions yet to be made on how some parts of the service will work. Chu promised that "at a minimum you can expect support for free (unpaid) applications" when the service goes live with updates for paid content, versioning, multiple device support and analytics coming later.
Later the same day, Chu announced the winners in the Android Developers Challenge. Out of 50 teams of finalists, ten were chosen to receive $275,000 awards and another ten, $100,000 awards. The fifty developers are believed to be the same fifty who received updated versions of the Android SDK between last March's SDK release and the recently released Android 0.9 SDK, frustrating [ticker:uk_11115 other developers]. Google has published a gallery of the winners which includes GoCart, a barcode reading shopping assistant, Cab4Me, a taxi locator and Locale, a smart settings manager for Android devices.
The first Android phone is expected to be the HTC "Dream" smartphone, due for release before Christmas in the United States.