Google prepares next Android Developer Challenge

Android application development is set to reach new heights this summer with the second Android Developer Challenge.

Taylor Wimberly Network blogger
Taylor Wimberly became obsessed with cell phones working as a Sprint reseller as a teenager. When he's not writing about the newest handsets on the market, you can find him on the beach working the BBQ pit. Taylor also blogs about the Android community with Android and Me. Taylor is a member of the CNET Blog Network, and is not an employee of CNET. E-mail Taylor.
Taylor Wimberly
2 min read
GoCart/ShopSavvy was a winner of the first Android Developer Challenge. Taylor Wimberly

Starting in August, Google will open submissions for the second Android Developer Challenge (ADC2). With close to $2 million in prizes, expect to see some amazing entries.

The first Android Developer Challenge gave us many of the top applications available today. The 50 finalists included Locale, TuneWiki, PicSay, GoCart, Compare Everywhere, and more.

The challenge
For the second challenge, Google has changed the format of the contest. This time around, the Android community will play an important role in deciding the winners. Sometime in late August, a voting application published on the Android Market will allow users to sample the submissions for each category and vote for their favorites.

Instead of 50 finalists, there will now be 200 finalists divided into 10 categories. They'll be selected based on the score they receive from the community votes. The official contest categories include:

  • Education/reference
  • Games: casual/puzzle
  • Games: arcade/action
  • Social networking
  • Lifestyle
  • Productivity/tools
  • Media
  • Entertainment
  • Travel
  • Miscellaneous

After the community determines the top 20 apps in each category, a second round of voting will begin in October. Once again, users will access the voting program to review and score the final apps. The community vote will account for 45 percent of the final score. Google will select a panel of judges that will determine the other 55 percent.

The top three entries with the highest score in each category will receive a cash prize. In addition, there will be three grand prize winners across all categories, with first place netting $250,000. Overall, close to $2 million will be rewarded to developers.

Since the entries for ADC2 have to be new releases, many developers are holding back their new projects for the challenge. This has created a temporary lull in new releases, but should benefit the community in the long run. We might also see some new teams enter the contest based on the 4,000 Android phones that were given out at the recent Google I/O developers conference. Expect competition to be fierce.

The first challenge also created several success stories. Rylan Barnes, lead developer of GoCart, and Jason Hudgins, who worked on TuneWiki, went on to found a new start-up Big in Japan. Their most popular app, ShopSavvy, played an important role in T-Mobile's launch of the first Android phone. Now the start-up has started its own developers program to help others publish mobile applications.

Another winner, Jeff Sharkey, went on to work for Google. He began his project, called Android Scan, while attending Montana State University. After graduating, his app Compare Everywhere went on to be one of the 10 grand prize winners.