The Android Developer Challenge FAQ

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What is the Android Developer Challenge?

The Android Developer Challenge is a Google-sponsored program that will provide $10 million in total awards for the best mobile apps built on the Android platform.

Why is Google launching the Android Developer Challenge?

A thriving developer community will be an important part of creating better mobile experiences that delight users around the world. We want to support and recognize developers who build great applications for devices based on Android.

How is the Android Developer Challenge organized?

There will be two parts to the Android Developer Challenge. Android Developer Challenge I will accept submissions from January 2 to April 14, 2008. The Android Developer Challenge II will launch after the first handsets built on the platform become available in the second half of 2008.

What kind of applications are you looking for?

We welcome all types of applications but are looking to reward innovative, useful apps that make use of Android's capabilities to deliver a better mobile experience. Here are some suggested areas of focus to get you started:

  • Social networking
  • Media consumption, management, editing, or sharing, e.g., photos
  • Productivity and collaboration such as email, IM, calendar, etc.
  • Gaming
  • News and information (weather, traffic, sports, stocks, etc.)
  • Rethinking of traditional user interfaces
  • Use of mash-up functionality
  • Use of location based services
  • Humanitarian benefits (monitoring and response for diseases, climate change, natural disasters, etc.)
  • Applications in service of global economic development for the 3 billion people living on less than $2.00 per day
  • Whatever you're excited about!

What kind of awards will you provide?

The $10 million in awards will be given out as cash awards -- no strings attached. The total will be distributed equally between the Android Developer Challenge I and II. In the Android Developer Challenge I, the 50 most promising entries will each receive a $25,000 award to fund further development. These 50 entries will then be eligible for even greater recognition via ten awards worth $275,000 each and and another ten worth $100,000 each.

We will announce the structure for Challenge II at a later date.

How will you evaluate the applications for awards?

  1. Originality of Concept
    Does the application introduce a great new idea; for example, a new angle on social applications?
  2. Effective Use of the Android Platform
    Does the application take advantage of Android's unique and compelling features, such as built-in location-based services, accelerometer, and always-on networking?
  3. Polish and Appeal
    Is the application easy to use and aesthetically appealing?
  4. Indispensability
    Is the application compelling and essential, such as a game the user just can't put down or a utility she can't live without?

Who decides who will receive awards from the Android Developer Challenge?

Judging of submissions will be by panels of Open Handset Alliance members and/or mobile experts. More information on the judging criteria will be available in the Terms and Conditions when they are made available, which will be on or before the date the submission page is made available to developers.

Can I submit more than one application?

Yes. Of course, quality over quantity is what we recommend.

Will I continue to own my application after I submit it to the Android Developer Challenge?

Developers retain all intellectual property and other rights to their applications while granting Google a license to evaluate and test the application for purposes of the Challenge as well as a license to display the application to promote the Android platform. More information will be provided when we make the Terms and Conditions available.

Does my application have to have an English language user interface?

Applications may be built in any language, but submissions must at a minimum support English language use.

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.

If I am a participant in the Google Summer of Code, may I also participate in the ADC?

No, participants in the Google Summer of Code are not eligible for the challenge because they are considered to be under contract by Google.

How do I participate?

  1. Start coding
  2. Keep up to date with the latest developments by subscribing to the Android Developer Blog
  3. Submit your application between January 2 and April 14, 2008
  4. Have fun!

What are the deadlines?

  • January 2, 2008: Start date for application submissions for Android Developer Challenge I
  • April 14, 2008: End date for application submissions
  • Week of May 5, 2008: $25,000 awards are announced for 50 most promising entries
  • August 5, 2008: Deadline for 50 eligible entries to apply for additional $275,000 and $100,000 awards
  • Week of September 1, 2008: $275,000 and $100,000 awards are announced
  • Second half, 2008: Android Developer Challenge II launched

Applications must be submitted by 23:59:59 (GMT/UTC -7), the day of the deadline (1 second before the date changes in Mountain View, CA, USA).

Are applications written in native code eligible?

All submitted applications should be written in the Java programming language.

Which SDK should should I base my submission on?

You may submit an application built using any SDK version. When you are ready to submit your application, please clearly indicate he SDK version that you've used and your application will be evaluated in relation to that specific SDK version.

If I develop my application according to a specific SDK and then I update my application to utilize the capabilities of a newer version of the SDK, may I resubmit my application?

Yes! We will be accepting submissions and resubmissions through the deadline on April 14, 2008. In fact, we encourage you to update your application to take advantage of new features that will be released with new versions of the SDK.

May I submit a developer tool?


May I submit an application framework?

Yes. When submitting a framework, please submit it as it would be presented to an end-developer, including all documentation, samples, and supporting code.

May I submit a client-server application?

Yes. However, please ensure that the server is publicly available so that the client application may be tested as it is intended for the user experience.

How can I get more information?

Subscribe to the Android Developer Blog for the latest news on Android and the Android Developer Challenge. You can also contact us with your questions via our Google Group.