The Open Handset Alliance released the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) today. The development kit will aid developers in building innovative mobile phone applications. Started by Google, the Open Handset Alliance has over 30 partners. They introduced a platform for developers called Android earlier this month that allows developers to create applications that will work across many different mobile phone networks. As of today developers can start testing, extending, and providing feedback on the platform.
Rather than a Google phone, this will bring Google and other applications to different phone platforms. And rather than spending money to develop a phone themselves, Google will let the community build and constantly innovate on the design and functionality.
To kick off the new development, Google is giving developers an incentive with a $10 million challenge. There are two phases to the challenge. Submissions for Challenge I will be accepted from January 2 through March 3, 2008. At that point the top 50 entries will each receiving $25,000 to fund further development. Those 50 can then apply for the next round of awards. Ten awards worth $275,000 each and another ten worth $100,000 each will be given away in Challenge II. Recognition for the top apps among those entries will be announced by end of May 2008. Additional information about the Android Developer Challenge can be found at http://code.google.com/android/adc.html
Google hopes developers will extend, replace, and reuse the existing software components of Android to create new services for mobile consumers. They are encouraging collaboration and the entire platform will be made available under the Apache v2 open-source license in 2008.
The SDK has tools for developers who want to build applications for the Android platform. There are development and debugging tools, a rich set of libraries, a true device emulator, in-depth documentation, sample projects, tutorials, FAQs, and more.
As Google does, they created an Android developers blog and a forum for developers to communicate about their projects. For more information or to download the SDK, see http://www.openhandsetalliance.com/developers.html.
It’s almost funny because it covers developer culture so well, but you can get more information about what the new platform can do from this video about Android. It features Sergey Brin, President of Technology and co-founder of Google along with OHA Engineering Director Steve Horowitz.
You’ll see the features of Android – and they have other videos with tutorials for developers. There are many features already developed including text messages that show up on the main screen, so you don’t have to open the message to read it. There are touch screen features so you can move around graphics or web sites with your fingertips as well as zoom in or out on pictures or maps. Developers will be excited when they see how good 3-D graphics look and how games will look on their phones.