Google named the winners of its second contest aimed at encouraging software developers to make applications for the Android mobile operating system.
The Android Developer Challenge 2 (ADC2) was announced in May and attracted entries by offering winners cash awards. The overall winner of ADC2, SweetDreams, an app that helps users sleep at night by sending late calls straight to voicemail, earned its creators US$250,000. Second prize overall went to What the Doodle!?, a multiplayer game of online Pictionary, while WaveSecure, a mobile security app that backs up data, allows users to track their phone and can lock it down or wipe all data to make the handset useless to a thief, took third.
Google offered prizes to the top three places in each of ten categories, US$100,000 for first place, $50,000 for second and $25,000 for third, with the top three overall winners taking an additional $150,000; $50,000; and $25,000. Categories included education, games, entertainment and productivity/tools.
"We received many interesting and high-quality applications," said Eric Chu, from Google's Android Mobile Platform team in a blog posting Monday. "We were particularly pleased to see submissions from many smaller and independent developers."
More than 26,000 Android users helped narrow the pool of entries down to 200 finalists. In the final poll, user votes counted for 40 percent of judging, while a panel of Google judges counted for 60 percent. The Android Developers Blog does not say how may entries were submitted, but it notes that the first Android Developer Challenge attracted over 1,700 submissions.
All apps submitted for the contest had to be made for Android version 1.5 in English.
Companies in other parts of the world have also held competitions to boost app development for Android in languages besides English.
The Conexus Mobile Alliance, a group that includes some of Asia's most powerful mobile phone network operators, last month announced 13 finalists for a competition launched early this year. The finalists include developers from Indonesia and South Korea to Taiwan and Thailand and range from Ultraport, an app from Indonesia designed to give users up-to-date traffic information, to Frienditude, a Taiwanese app that updates social networking site status reports into a user's contact list, and Sawan Ban Na (Paradise Farm), a Thai game whereby players become traditional rice farmers.
The Conexus Mobile Alliance covers 240 million subscribers from companies such as NTT DoCoMo of Japan, KT Corporation of South Korea, Indosat of Indonesia and Far EasTone Telecommunications of Taiwan.