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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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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....

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