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Samsung offering $800,000 reward for killer apps

business Updated: May 23, 2013 13:00 IST

Samsung is courting developers in the hopes of bringing more Galaxy-feature-specific apps to its existing and future handsets.

The South Korean phonemaker is launching The Samsung Smart App Challenge 2013 for Galaxy SIV, a global competition for app submissions that will help its Galaxy SIV smartphone owners get even more from the company's ‘Group Play' service -- a set of in-built features that allow users to share multimedia content simultaneously between devices.

Attracting developers to its platform, rather than the wider Google Play Store, is a shrewd move and one that could help it compete more directly with the features on the iPhone and iPad. Writing apps for the wider Android community often means making them as basic as possible due to the huge number of different devices with different procesors and forms of the operating system that are in active daily use.

It doesn't matter how powerful the latest Samsung Galaxy SIV is, or what version of Android it can run, Gingerbread (a version of the operating system that is already more than two years out of date) is currently the world's most popular form of Android and therefore, developers have to write apps that work with its more basic features if they want their offerings to appeal to as many potential customers as possible. This is an issue that Apple device users don't face.

Of the contest's $800,000 prize total, $200,000 will go to the best app. There are three runner-up prizes of $100,000 and six ‘third place' prizes worth $50,000 each. Samsung is looking for apps that offer uniqueness, functionality, usability, commercial potential and reflect good design. Submitted apps must be free, but they can feature in-app purchases.

Although this could be bad news for the wider Android community, for owners of Samsung Galaxy devices, the competition could lead to a massive boost in the quality of apps available as well as new features that really make the most of their devices' processing power.