Write an Android app, win $25,000!

Google is handing out a total of $10m to the best mobile apps developers

Google has released the software development kit for its newly launched Android mobile operating system.

As an extra incentive, Google is offering developers a slice of a $10 million (£4.83 million) prize fund, split between the 50 best software applications for Android.

Big money for clever apps

The writers of the best 50 apps for Android will land grants of $25,000 each, followed by ten $100,000 and ten $275,000 grants. The rest, $5 million, will be handed out after the first Android-powered handsets have been developed.

"We've built some interesting applications for Android, but the best applications are not here yet and that's because they're going to be written by developers," Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder and president of technology, said in a statement.

"We'd like to reward these developers and recognise them as much as possible."

"Innovative mobile software"

"We believe that the Android platform offers developers a unique opportunity to create truly innovative mobile software," added Andy Rubin, Google's director of mobile platforms. "We're challenging developers to stretch their imaginations and skills to leverage the full capabilities of this new platform and to create something amazing."

The Android mobile operating system was announced last week by the Google-lead Open Handset Alliance, which brings together some 30 technology and mobile firms.

To enter the $10 million Android Developer Challenge, you need to get your hands on the SDK and submit your Android application between January 2 and March 3, 2008.