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Google's Android overview.  (Source: Google)
Android Developer Challenge offers phone programmers a chance at big bucks

For only having been announced one week ago, the Google Android handset operating system from Google and the Open Handset Alliance has been generating a lot of fevered press statements, blog postings and dreams for developers and consumers. Google has now made the Android SDK available for download for -- you guessed it -- free.

Android applications are written in Java and run on a specialized virtual machine, which then runs on a Linux 2.6 kernel. Rather than using the GPL license, Android is currently licensed under the Apache v2 open-source license, which allows for innovations and features to be kept proprietary.

Supporting Windows, Intel Macs and i386-based Linux OSes, the Android SDK not only gives developers a chance to familiarize themselves with the environment before the first handsets are launched in the second half of 2008, but it also gives them a chance to collect their share of $10 million in prizes in the first Android Developer Challenge.

The first challenge will take place between January 2nd and March 3rd, 2008, with the fifty most promising entries each receiving $25,000 "to fund further development" and a shot at one of ten prizes of $275,000 or one of ten $100,000 prizes.

A slide from the Android presentation materials shown here makes it very clear that Google isn't interested in playing second fiddle to Apple, Nokia, or Microsoft -- with media playback, OpenGL ES, an ultra-light SQL database library included in the OS, and a mantra of "All applications are created equal" Google seems primed to make more than a small entrance into the mobile market later next year.

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Its never enough for you, Google...
By daftrok on 11/12/2007 1:41:27 PM , Rating: 5
First you take over the internet by being the most widely used search engine ever. Then you create an innovative email program, outshining Hotmail and even Outlook and Thunderbird. Then you create Google maps to fight against Yahoo and Mapquest. You stepped it up a notch and have streetview, invading privacy but helping people from getting from A to B alot easier. You're even starting space programs. Now the cellphone. Next it will be the car, the plane, the train, the school, energy...YOU'RE TAKING OVER THE WORLD! AHHH!

RE: Its never enough for you, Google...
By WilsuN on 11/12/2007 1:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
I would gladly welcome our Google overlords. :]

RE: Its never enough for you, Google...
By creathir on 11/12/2007 2:05:30 PM , Rating: 3
Their "innovations" are not really that amazing.
What have they invented besides their search engine which has just been so amazing you would willingly give over all privacy to them?

- Creathir

RE: Its never enough for you, Google...
By JackBeQuick on 11/12/2007 2:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
It gets crazier. Look at Dailytech even. They have Google Analytics tracking code on the bottom of every page.

Check out the insane amount of data you get back out of Google Analytics when you get a chance. It makes comScore and Neilson cry.

Eventually there won't be the Internet anymore, it will just be various Google services. I'm kidding, but sort of not!

RE: Its never enough for you, Google...
By orgy08 on 11/12/2007 2:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
Next is...Google OS for the pc, its the next logical step

RE: Its never enough for you, Google...
By Polynikes on 11/12/2007 4:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is doomed. ;)

By murphyslabrat on 11/13/2007 3:02:53 PM , Rating: 2
No, Microsoft's days were numbered from the day that they started charging more than 50% of the cost of a low-end PC. I use Ubuntu on almost all of my PC's, but Microsoft does have hold of my gaming PC. Though, with the improvement that WINE is making, that may not be for long.

Free stuff that rocks, you just can't lose.

By kelman6969 on 11/13/2007 9:34:44 AM , Rating: 2
Nice Pic Chris.....

Resistance is will be assimilated!

By FITCamaro on 11/12/2007 2:16:19 PM , Rating: 1
Don't be silly. Walmart will try to take over the world long before Google does.

By Souka on 11/12/2007 3:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
Google is already into cars...

well, I recall reading about a 100mpg engine they're working on...

Still.... its a step

RE: Its never enough for you, Google...
By brightgreenpupil on 11/12/2007 3:42:56 PM , Rating: 2
It's all true, Google is backing the Tesla Roadster!

By Polynikes on 11/12/2007 4:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if I give them a "cool app" if they'll pay me with a Tesla Roadster instead of cash. I imagine those are all "spoken for" by now, and it could be the only way to get one.

By euclidean on 11/13/2007 12:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
Just makes my stock happier ;) :)

By Oregonian2 on 11/12/2007 1:54:23 PM , Rating: 2
Could you imagine Apple coming out like that for their iPhone/touch products? Gives me brain-lock even considering it.

RE: amazing
By Hare on 11/12/2007 2:28:01 PM , Rating: 2
Apple will release their iPhone SDK in February.

RE: amazing
By Oregonian2 on 11/12/2007 2:52:51 PM , Rating: 3
But not with this open enthusiasm for apps. Apple's attitude has been "okay, you forced me into it, I'll let you make them so long as I can control what you do".

RE: amazing
By kelmon on 11/13/2007 5:16:30 AM , Rating: 2
That's not a substantiated statement - there is no evidence to suggest that the iPhone SDK is only being produced due to the jailbreaks and popularity of 3rd party applications. However, it is true that Apple has screwed up mightily when it came to 3rd party support by not having released the SDK as soon as they announced the iPhone last January so that products could have been available on Day 1 of the phone's release. In this respect Google is definitely ahead of Apple and the use of Java as a native language will ensure that there's a boatload of developers out there with the skills necessary to write applications for this.

RE: amazing
By Oregonian2 on 11/13/2007 3:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmmm... I think quotes from Jobs and others at Apple having to do with third party developers were rather obviously less enthusiastic than Google's approach and showed "attitude". Although I'm not going to write a paper on the subject complete with references and footnotes, if you see Apple as being equally enthusiastic about third party developers on their platform, then that's fine with me. BTW I didn't mention the things you did so somehow you picked up on those yourself....

No GUI Designer?
By TomZ on 11/12/2007 2:19:38 PM , Rating: 2
Taking a quick look at the information provided by Google, it looks like Android is lacking a GUI designer of any sort. You seem to have to write code to instantiate and place GUI widgets.

Although consistent with "state of the art" for Java apps, I think that in light of the iPhone's emphasis on a high-quality GUI, Android seems to be lacking quite a bit in that department. It's also nowhere near the level of where Microsoft is with Visual Studio and Windows Mobile. Android doesn't seem to do anything to help folks develop apps with a innovative or appealing user experience.

But, I guess it's not really about the product - it's about the branding and the partners.

RE: No GUI Designer?
By subhajit on 11/12/2007 2:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
I think they use XML based layout design. It should not be that hard to create a plug in for designing GUI. It is an open platform, so I guess a lot of cool dev tools will appear once developers start creating more and more complicated applications. The UI on a phone application should not be very complicated anyway.

RE: No GUI Designer?
By dever on 11/13/2007 1:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
Not complicated... highly refined. Thus, the desire for a GUI designer.

RE: No GUI Designer?
By stmok on 11/14/2007 5:34:34 AM , Rating: 2
Well, let's see TomZ. We all know you're highly reliant and greatly favour MS solutions. The thing is, this is NOT an MS solution promoting the MS way of doing things. So why bother mentioning it? Have you tried the Android SDK? Have you not seen the demo videos of the prototype? Clearly not.

It feels like you only see the MS way of doing things as the best way for everything. Guess what?! There's actually something outside of MS!

This is Google using the opensource development model in application software development for phones.

Its one up on the iPhone, because Apple needs such developers, and Google has just solved this very issue. (via opensource and forming the Open Handset Alliance.)

When it comes to opensource, we all know one thing about you. You don't know jack. ie: Never tried opensource yourself, but willing to criticise based on what you hear and read about it.

Seriously dude. Get off your Microsoft horse and think outside the box.

Here's a video presentation of the Android solution in action.

By GTaudiophile on 11/12/2007 3:23:13 PM , Rating: 2
I assume this competition is open to anyone and everyone from around the globe?

I look forward to seeing the demographic data on the final submissions. Male or female coders? Age? Educational background? Income? And most importantly, where are they from? USA, China, Japan, Germany, Russia?

Wonder if someone will write a seemingly legit app that is really hax0rs and ends up getting adopted. That would be funny.

RE: Demographics
By FITCamaro on 11/12/2007 3:56:05 PM , Rating: 2
Wonder if someone will write a seemingly legit app that is really hax0rs and ends up getting adopted. That would be funny.

That's kind of the reason I didn't see them opening it up. It allows for too much freedom where you're almost definitely going to have people writing hacks for it that might steal information. It's good they're opening it up, but I hope applications that are made available for the public have to go through some kind of screening.

RE: Demographics
By stmok on 11/14/2007 5:51:32 AM , Rating: 2
That's the beauty of the opensource development model. It doesn't discriminate between age, race, religion, income, level of education, etc. If you can code, go right ahead. Let no one stop you.

However, this is Google, an American company. As such, their competition is restricted in some way (US Law restrictions, etc)...

Who's eligible to participate?

* The Android Developer Challenge is open to individuals, teams of individuals, and business entities. While we seek to make the Challenge open worldwide, we cannot open the Challenge to residents of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, and Myanmar (Burma) because of U.S. laws. In addition, the Challenge is not open to residents of Italy or Quebec because of local restrictions.
* You must be of legal age in your country of residence in order to participate.
* Employees of Google, members of the Open Handset Alliance, or affiliated companies are ineligible to participate.
* For more information, please see the complete set of Terms and Conditions when they become available.

Besides, what's wrong with a hacker (or a cracker for that matter) coding up something legit and useful? Might as well turn it into a business! :)

Those Google millionaires.....
By crystal clear on 11/13/2007 2:57:27 AM , Rating: 2
It pays to be at the right time at the right place .

You get rich by being involved with Google,here an example-

Google Options Make Masseuse a Multimillionaire

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 11 — Bonnie Brown was fresh from a nasty divorce in 1999, living with her sister and uncertain of her future. On a lark, she answered an ad for an in-house masseuse at Google, then a Silicon Valley start-up with 40 employees. She was offered the part-time job, which started out at $450 a week but included a pile of Google stock options that she figured might never be worth a penny.

After five years of kneading engineers’ backs, Ms. Brown retired, cashing in most of her stock options, which were worth millions of dollars. To her delight, the shares she held onto have continued to balloon in value.

According to documents filed on Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Google employees and former employees are holding options they can cash in worth about $2.1 billion. In addition, current employees are sitting on stock and unvested options, or options they cannot immediately cash in, that together have a value of about $4.1 billion.

Although no one keeps an official count of Google millionaires, it is estimated that 1,000 people each have more than $5 million worth of Google shares from stock grants and stock options.

By sj420 on 11/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: uhhmm
By ninjit on 11/12/2007 8:08:55 PM , Rating: 2
Why do some peeps feel it's necessary to write a whole high-school essay for a "comment".

There's a reason it's called a comment, if you want to write a full opinion piece or rebuttal for something, put it on a blog and provide a link with a small description.

Otherwise you're just going to get rated down simply because people think it's annoying.

RE: uhhmm
By sj420 on 11/12/2007 10:10:52 PM , Rating: 1
My apologies for assuming the majority here had respect or at least the level of comprehension required to actually read a few paragraphs that are very descriptive. If you can't take that extra minute to read the post then skip it, don't rate it down because of its length. Its not my problem that you don't want to read something that is "too long for you". If anything skim through it for the important bits.

How about you and anyone like you grow up and if you don't like reading get your eyes surgically removed and the Microsoft Sam voice implanted into your head, so that when you usually read instead you hear the microsoft sam voice tell it to you.

Since you are THAT lazy and arrogant.

DO not rate my posts if you are lame, DO not bother reading or responding to my posts if you can't even READ them.

RE: uhhmm
By CrazyBernie on 11/12/2007 11:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
Umm... could you please use quotes and site some sources when you're posting a rebuttal?? It was a little on the short side.


RE: uhhmm
By stmok on 11/14/2007 5:36:41 AM , Rating: 2
May I suggest something? Learn to paragraph. It really turns people off when you don't.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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