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The Android Developer Challenge is a periodic contest for developers to create apps for the Android operating system. The challenge is sponsored by Google, which owns the company that originally developed Android technology, in corporation with the Open Handset Alliance, for cell phones. Android is an open source program based off of the Linux operating system, so anyone can create programs for the system without having to pay licensing fees. The Android operating system is used on all Android-branded phones made today. Other popular mobile operating systems included the Blackberry OS and Apple's iOS for the iPhone.
The Android Developer Challenge was devised by Google and the Open Handset Alliance to help encourage development of apps for the Android mobile operating system. Many consider the Android to be the primary competitor to the iPhone and its iOS, which has its own highly populated app store. The challenge was Android's response to that, providing a monetary reward for developers to increase their range and develop apps for the Android system not just the iPhone operating system.
Although there are no fees to develop for the Android or submit apps for the challenge, which has been run annually since the fall of 2008, there are eligibility restrictions. Applications already available in the Android market and any applications that were entered in previous instances of the challenge can not be resubmitted. This is true even for apps that have been modified or updated since the previous challenge. Contestants must also provide their apps to the judges for free, although these free versions can be timed trials that expire after the competition is complete.
Entries in the Android Developer Challenge are divided into multiple separate categories, including education, social networking, lifestyle, media and games. In the first Android Developer Challenge (ADC1) in 2008, 50 finalists were chosen to compete. Ten of those finalists received cash awards of $100,000 US Dollars (USD) as a second place prize, and the top 10 finalists received a cash prize of $275,000 USD each. There was no ranking among the winners.
Prizes were awarded differently for the second Android Developer Challenge (ADC2) in 2009. For each of the 10 categories three winners were chosen. Third place received a cash prize of $25,000 USD, second place received $50,000 USD and first place won $100,000 USD. Also, the first place winners of each category competed for the overall prize. First place in that contest received $150,000, while the cash prizes for second and third were $50,000 USD and $25,000 USD, respectively. There are currently no plans for a third Android Developer Challenge.