As expected Google released their Android Software Development Kit (SDK) today. It provides all of the tools needed to start creating applications that run on the next generation mobile operating system, and Google is getting their checkbooks out to help ensure that Android won’t be a flop…

–The $10 Million Contest–

Google has caught the attention of developers around the world by announcing a $10 million contest that will be awarded to some of the best Android applications. The money will be distributed equally between two Android Developer Challenges:

  • Android Developer Challenge I: Submissions from January 2 through March 3, 2008
  • Android Developer Challenge II: This part will launch after the first handsets built on the platform become available in the second half of 2008

In the Android Developer Challenge I, the 50 most promising entries received by March 3 will each receive a $25,000 award to fund further development. Those selected will then be eligible for even greater recognition via ten $275,000 awards and ten $100,000 awards.

–Android Screenshots–

These are screenshots of Android running on what looks to be a Blackberry-like device:

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Android 1 Android 2 Android 3 Android 4 Android 5

–Touch Screen Android Screenshots–

Android includes an iPhone-style browser that is Webkit-based. It provides a browsing experience similar to what you would expect from a desktop computer. You can zoom in and out of the websites at your own leisure, and it even includes a website history browser that appears to be a sibling of the iTunes Cover Flow:

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Android Advanced 1 Android Advanced 2

–The Video–

Finally, here is the video that Google provided with live demonstrations of both the regular and touch screen uses of Android: