Finalists for Google's first Android Developers Challenge scored something a little extra in addition to their promised $25,000 prize: The web services giant also sent the winning developers emails revealing details of the next iteration of the Android SDK. It appears Google plans to lean on the ADC finalists to help iron out some of Android's wrinkles. The catch: Developers must first sign a confidentiality agreement.
The Google email reads: "As a Round 2 participant, we'll be providing you with the most up-to-date Android SDK so that you can take advantage of the latest tools and platform capabilities that will be shipping in devices later this year. These early access SDKs have many enhancements, additional features, and bug fixes. However, these SDKs have not had the same level of testing as public SDKs, so there are bugs; these releases are definitely 'bleeding edge.' As we continue to update the platform, you'll receive periodic drops of updated early access SDKs. We'll do our best to give you a rough timeline on when these early access SDKs will be available so that you can better plan your development schedule. Approximately 3 weeks before the submission deadline, we will provide a final early access SDK. You will need to submit your entry using this version of the SDK.
"Since these early access SDKs are not ready for the public, you need to execute a special SDK license. This is the same SDK license that governs the public SDK with the addition of a confidentiality clause. We've attached the SDK license document to this email." Reactions to the news were decidedly mixed. A rhetorical question posed on the Android Challenge Google Groups web page asks "Does it mean ADC I winners will have a better chance to win in ADC II since they have early access to the next version of SDK which has lots of enhancements and features?"
For more on the Android SDK preview:
-read this Hello Android article
Winners of Google's Android Developer Challenge
Android Watch: Tracking Google's mobile progress
Android Developer event yields almost 1800 entries