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Google pays $120k to Android music developer


Steve Oldmeadow has never set foot in Silicon Valley, but this month the software developer became one of a select few to be handed a $120,000 cheque from Google.

The windfall was prize-money for a musical application called “Rayfarla” purpose built by Mr Oldmeadow in a developer challenge for Google’s new Android mobile phone platform.

Much like the iPhone, Android phones
will be able to download dozens of mini applications such as Rayfarla that are much more focused on fun, lifestyle and entertainment than traditional computer software.
Android is a free mobile phone operating system and the first handset to bear its software will be released next month in the US by T-mobile - Android coming to the UK.

With its quirky mix of modules including a virtual cowbell, a rhythm based arcade game, and a number of virtual musical instruments, Mr Oldmeadow said Rayfarla (a wordplay on do-re-mi) was very much the product of his own experiences as an amateur musician.

Steve Oldmeadow, “Rayfarla” Android music developer

Rayfarla was designed to appeal to variety of people because it includes virtual music instruments and a lot of games. The original thinking was that kids would come in to play the games, and in the process learn more about music. From there they could start making music and possibly even jam with friends.

Other winning entries in the Google challenge include geographical applications for finding cabs and going shopping, cooking and car pooling apps and a racing challenge that lets you pit yourself against others following a similar workout pattern or location.

But while the fruits of the developer challenge should guarantee Google some interesting applications at launch, competition for developer talent may tighten given Apple’s application store for its iPhone users is now up and running, and reportedly generating big returns for developers.

He also plans to hand over some of the software code to the developer community in the spirit of open source computing.

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