Google rewarding top Android developers with free Android phone

Google rewarding top Android developers with free Android phone

Summary: Google is offering its top Android Market developers a free Android device. What will this mean for App development on Android and other platforms?

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In a move that hopefully other mobile phone OS companies will follow, Google is now offering a free Android device to developers who have at least one application in the Android Market with a rating of 3.5 stars or higher and more than 5,000 unique downloads.

According to a post by a developer, he was sent an e-mail from Google since he qualified as part of Google's developer device seeding program. In his case, he's entitled to either a Droid or Nexus One, based on where he is in the world.

I think that this is a great idea and one that I hope will catch on with Apple and more importantly, Microsoft, as the company brings its Windows Phone 7 Series to market. Initially I was thinking that most of the developers who have apps that qualify probably have their own Android device, but even if they did, they now get rewarded with a state-of-the-art Android device, which will only continue to encourage them to develop for the platform.

Google is facing a pretty severe game of catch up in the App Store race. At last count they had a bit over 20,000 apps, compared to Apple's more than 140,000. That said, it's more about quality than quantity, so one could argue that there are more than enough apps available for Android devices.

The next thing Google needs to do to get more developers in the game is to offer a more affordable developer-only Android device. They're sort of doing this with the Nexus One, but maybe the company can put out a lower-end Android phone that developers can pick up unlocked, too?

It will be interesting to see what this program will do for Android development overall, since other developers who may have apps in the Android Market may enhance them in hopes of getting a higher rating and more downloads.

Regardless of what happens next, it's a great idea and one that can only have a positive affect on Android development.

Topics: Software Development, Google, Mobility

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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5 comments
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  • How is that possible?

    The Nexus One was THE sucess story of 2009, I can't see how they would have any left in stock to give out to developers as I would have to think that HTC is running 3 shifts 7 days a week just to keep up with the backlog!
    Ron Bergundy
    • Now we know you are sarcastic.

      The largest market flop in smart phone recent history (even bigger than
      the Pre) and it is the Success Story of 2009.
      Bruizer
  • Great idea...

    One thing that Google (and MS) get are developers.

    Although one thing I'd prefer is to get a voucher for an Android phone for the network of my choice. I'm on Sprint, so I'd like to be able to get a Moment or a Hero or something.

    In any case, nice move Google.
    DevStar
  • RE: Google rewarding top Android developers with free Android phone

    anybody received his phone already ? i didn't receive mine yet
    achilleum
  • RE: Google rewarding top Android developers with free Android phone

    Yes I received a Droid, but the paperwork that came along
    with it said "enjoy your new Nexus One" Needless to say
    I was mildly let down.
    NetApex