All Quiet in Androidville on Eve of ADC Announcement

The winners of the first Android Developers Challenge are going to be announced next week and 20 lucky teams will walk away considerably richer. There will be ten winners of $100,000 and another ten will receive $275,000 for their efforts. And that will be the end of the first Developers Challenge. Later in the year we will get to do it all again.

At a cursory glance, you wouldn’t really know the first 20 major applications for Android are around the corner. Without digging around a little bit, you aren’t going to find much news to report on. It’s a little ironic that the closer we get to milestones and the official launch, the quieter things are getting. Why has Google gone silent?

Let’s be fair here. The Open Handset Alliance is a consortium of 34 members, all bringing different things to the table. Why does the burden get put on Google to speak about Android? There are carriers and hardware makers involved after all. Why can’t one of them speak up and give us a clue as to what’s going on? There aren’t even people speaking on conditions of anonymity about the closed door meetings. Fortunately, I am in position to know that there are people within T-Mobile who have used, tested, and played with Android. Otherwise, It’s all a big mystery.

It’s sad to think of all the potential customers Sprint and T-Mobile miss out on by not giving people a reason to wait. Buy a magazine ad with just a simple picture of your logo and the Android robot together with a “Coming Q4” in it and watch how effective it is. Have your fanboys help generate buzz with a screenshot or two. Whenever the Dream (or whatever it ends being called) comes out, the device will have to be incredibly compelling to get people to switch carriers and cough up early termination fees.

The official Android Developers Blog has not posted anything since June 19th. We’re talking six weeks without a tiny morsel of new information. There are days that come and go and I try to think of something to write about for an editorial or opinion piece. I shouldn’t have to be waiting so earnestly for things about Android. I’d much rather be in a position to pick and choose what I want to cover, not dig for it. The only stuff getting written about in the Android circles these last few months has been mostly negative press.

My prediction for the next few weeks is this – Android will be major news for the next week. People will be looking at all of the semi-finalists and winners and trying to figure out where they’ll end up and how they’ll be used in the big scheme of things. There’s going to be some angry people complaining about the “flawed” system used to judge the applicants, but it’s likely to be the same people as before. I’ve spoken to a lot of the top 50 teams and they were extremely happy to be considered for the second round. Heck, most of the so-called losers in the first round were cool with how it went down. There are always going to be grumpy people who have an axe to grind. Unfortunately, they tend to get the press. The whole “squeaky wheel gets the grease” thing.

I’ve watched some Android articles go viral much faster than others and they are usually the ones spreading the vitriol and hate. It’s time we got some good news and positive publicity out of Android. Hopefully it starts next week and continues full speed up until the first handsets arrive. The less that gets said offficially, the more speculation we have. When you are talking about products, services, and contracts, you want people to know as much as possible. Unless, of course, it’s not all that great to begin with. Most of the terrible movies that come out nowadays don’t get screened for critics because they know how bad they are. I’m hoping that Android gets screened for us critics as soon as posible.

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  1. Just a heads-up regarding timing. They haven’t told us how long the judging process will take. I’m expecting about a week, but I would hope they take all the time they need. :)

    Also, they haven’t announced anything about the second challenge, and I’m guessing it will happen next summer. My conservative guess is that there will be a handful of (one or two) devices by the end of this year, and more sprinkled through the spring.

  2. Regarding Android news for the coming week, it would be nice to have a video of the Android Web Browser doing something ‘unique’ for a mobile browser.

    After all, Android is supposed to be geared for mobile internet supremacy.

  3. As much as I’d like to think otherwise, the silence on the carrier (s) part or in this case T-Mobile may have more to do with the actual release date of the device. It’s been my experience that carriers typically don’t like to tip their hand until they are about 60 to 90 days away from going to market. I was hoping for T-Mobile’s device to be released in early to mid October, but with no public mention of the device up to this point I’d have to say we’re looking at a November/December release. I could be wrong. I hope I’m wrong.

  4. I’ve been a T-Mobile customer for nearly half a decade. They are known for not telling anyone about new devices or services until the last minute. I have a few frieds who work at T-Mobile stores and it seems like I’m always telling them about new things that they will be offering. T-Mobile usualy keeps things under wraps till about 30 days before release.

  5. I have a question T-mobile customers. If I get a low-end T-mobile phone, with a year’s subscription, can I get the HTC Dream when they launch it with the same subscription, only pay a few extra cash for the hardware?


  6. You sure can. Just buy the device and throw your SIM in it when ready. You can also check out the FlexPay option which is month to month. No contract, paid in advance.

  7. Hello there,
    nice article, submit is done (twice in fact)… during the night.

    No more vacation until may 2009 (all invested+ unpaid leaves) missed the vacation with the kids this summer, lost all karma points at my job 1.0. Those were hard decisions to take.
    I never thought this was going to be .. so… extreme as well as an amazing software and personal learning experience.
    Words are missing to describe this.
    This as been an amazing journey.


  8. Hey AndroidGuys and readers,

    Well, we submitted Cooking Capsules p2 this morning. Fingers crossed!!

    I’ll be glad too when there is more information. I’d love to know when they are announcing the winners, for one.

    Laurent, I didn’t give up as much as you, but my teammates and I did work damned long hours to make this happen. It was rewarding though. We submitted a good new version. I hope the judges like it.

    Keep up the good work, Android people. There is surely some big stuff brewing behind the scenes we can’t yet imagine but I think we’ll be out of the dark before long.

    Mary Ann

  9. Thanks Mary Ann,
    I think we should merge Marvin and Cooking Capsules in fact :)
    Yes, long hours and without knowing where the others are was like running a sprint in the dark.
    And on my side self-motivations was key… man, I had hard times.

    Go Compare Every!
    Go Cooking Capsule!
    Go Marvin!

    And yes this will somehow be the beginning of something big.

  10. @ AndroidGuys

    Thanks for your reply. Now what will I happen to the low-end phone I bought first? And will I pay full price (like an unlocked phone) for the T-mobile HTC Dream, or will I be able to get the “Instant” and “Mail-in-Rebate” discount?

    Because if I’m paying full price then I may as well get it unlocked and select the network of my choice…


  11. Thanks Scott for your email.

    I received an official reply from T-Mobile today:

    “I’m pleased to inform you that you can purchase the HTC Dream at
    anytime when it is available, as for the cost if you received any types
    of discounts when you purchase the Blackberry 8100, you may have to pay
    full price for the HTC Dream. We currently don’t offer trade-ins, I do
    apologize for any inconvenience this may hold to you.”

    So I only get one discount. No trade-ins. Better save my purchase for when the HTC Dream is out, then.

  12. piece of writing. however, in letters that…

    are written to colleagues, customers, and the general public, it is better to put away the dictionary. instead, the writer should choose words that are most familiar to people. even when the writer knows the person he or she is writing…

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