Google has announced the creation of the Android Developer Challenge, two contests meant to foster the growth of its Android mobile operating system. The company says that while it has already built some applications for Android, it wants more and better ones, for which it will issue prizes ranging between $25,000 and $275,000 out of a total pool of $10 million. Fifty $25,000 prizes will be awarded towards the end of March, with the goal of funding extra development; the winners will then be eligible for the May prizes, consisting of 10 $100,000 and 10 $275,000 payouts.
The above two phases only represent the first contest however, with Challenge II being scheduled for the second half of 2008, when the first Android phones will become commercially available. To get developers going, the company has already posted an early version of its SDK, containing tools, libraries, documentation and an emulator. Versions are available for Windows, Intel Macs and i386-based Linux systems.