Adobe and Sony offer US$200k prizes in Android app challenge

19 Jul 2011

Adobe and Sony have banded together to offer developers a chance to win US$200,000 in cash prizes to drive the creation of innovative Android apps for its new S1 and S2 Android tablets.

Both companies will enable developers to tap into native device capabilities and combine Adobe Flash technology and HTML5 to deliver unique, high-performance mobile applications using Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 and the open source Flex framework.

Sony is developing two tablets with unprecedented design, including S1 (codename), which is optimised for rich media entertainment and S2 (codename), which is ideal for mobile communication and entertainment. “Sony Tablet” devices will become available in the global market starting in fall 2011.

With support for Adobe AIR, developers will be able to deliver new application experiences in addition to thousands of AIR applications already available on Android Market today. They can use the latest tools, including Flash Professional CS5.5, Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 and the mobile-optimised open-source Flex 4.5 framework to create a range of applications, including media, gaming and data-driven applications.

The challenge

The ‘Adobe AIR App Challenge, Sponsored by Sony’ contest offers developers a chance to win US$200,000 in total cash prizes and the promotion of the application on “Sony Tablet” devices. Adobe and Sony are challenging developers and content publishers to build breakthrough mobile apps optimised for the S1 and S2 tablets.

The contest will give selected developers pre-release access to “Sony Tablet” prototypes and the latest version of Adobe tools. Contest categories include Games, Innovation, Entertainment, Lifestyle and Community, and Business and Productivity. A panel of Adobe, Sony and third-party judges will evaluate application submissions based on quality and performance, innovation and creativity, as well as overall user experience. The contest is open to submissions from Ireland, the US, Japan, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

Developers can easily build AIR applications with Adobe tools and deploy them as native applications via the Android Market. Adobe AIR enables rich application experiences through tight device integration, including support for camera, video, microphone, multi-touch and more. Support for geolocation allows developers to create location-based applications and services. With SQLite support, developers can easily store and cache databases inside an AIR application.

As part of the collaboration, Sony will pre-install Adobe Flash Player on “Sony Tablet” devices, enabling a complete web-browsing experience that includes an array of videos, games and other rich content. Users are expected to experience performance gains on Sony’s high-performance web browser when compared with the native Android browser.

One of the top free apps on Android Market, with close to 13m downloads to date and more than 300,000 users giving it a 4.5 out of 5-star rating, Flash Player brings rich Flash-based content via the web browser to devices.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years