One lucky developer will win $10k in the Actions on Google Developer Challenge. Google announced the contest this week to lure more developers onto its platform. The contest also will distribute prizes in several sub-categories including best app by students, best easter egg, best persona, best fun distraction and several others. The landing page announcing the contest outlined the key contest parameters:
Turn your inspiration into action by building apps for the Google Assistant on Google Home, select Android devices, and the iPhone. Enter to win more than 20 prizes including a trip to Google I/O 2018. Your app must be approved by August 31st to be eligible, so start building!
Cold Hard Cash for Prizes
First prize is $10,000 and a trip to Google I/O 2018. Second and third place winners both will receive a Google Home and $7,500 and $5,000 respectively. The sub-categories also carry substantial cash rewards. Three “best persona” winners will each receive $2,500 and the “crowd favorite” which has the highest rating in the Google Actions directory will net $5,000. The best “parenting app” will also win $5k.
There are also three partner-sponsored prizes. Api.ai, Converse.ai and Dashbot.io are each offering $5,000 to the best Action that uses their respective platforms.
Enlisting Developers and Closing the Gap with Amazon Alexa
This is a good idea to draw more developer attention to the Google Assistant and Google Home platforms. Amazon had a two-year head start enlisting developers and now lists close to 12,000 Alexa skills in the US alone compared to just 268 for Google Home. Some people will claim that many of those Alexa skills are low quality and barely used. However, that number includes hundreds of excellent skills and thousands that are useful. More voice applications simply means a greater chance that good ones will arise. Google needs to offer more applications for users and enticing developers with rewards is a decent strategy to generate more traction.
Bringing Actions to Google Assistant is a Bigger Incentive
The bigger announcement this past week that will generate developer interest was the availability of Google Actions through Google Assistant. Previously, Actions were only available on Google Home which has a user base of about one million consumers. Developers chasing an audience for their voice application were more likely to invest in Amazon Alexa skills because of its 10x larger user base. By bringing Actions to Google Assistant, developers can now access as many as 100 million users, mostly through Android phones. That is a big incentive. Then again, so is cash. You can enter the contest here: https://assistant.google.com/challenge/