Last year's winners, selected out of an impressive list of finalists, set the bar very high for this year's participants. In the latest 2013 Google Cloud Developer Challenge, the competition was fierce among the almost 500 submissions received, and the competition grew even tighter once the finalists were announced last month. You can watch the video announcing the finalists here:
Developers then had about four weeks to incorporate the feedback from the impressive group of Round One judges and refine their applications, adding polishing touches and applying additional skills to help them cross the finish line as a winner!
Applications were screened by technical experts, in-region judges and leaders in the fields of government, non-profit management, business services, social media, gaming and many other disciplines to gauge the applications against the following criteria:
- Effective use of Google App Engine (Compulsory)
- All submissions must have an appspot.com domain
- Originality of concept
- Relevance to region (Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, India, Southeast Asia, Middle East and Northern Africa, and US/Europe/Rest of World)
- Polish and appeal
- Usability on multiple screen sizes
- Indispensability: Is the application compelling and/or essential?
- Amount of user interactions on their app (comments, +1s, FB Likes, etc...)
- Google+ sign-In / integration (Not compulsory: Bonus Points)
- Creative use of YouTube and Google Maps APIs (Not compulsory: Bonus Points)
- Use of other Google platforms / APIs (Not compulsory: Bonus Points)
Winners of the Enterprise/Small Business Solutions, Education, Not for Profit Category:
1) HealthMate, India
HealthMate is an application for patients and doctors to manage their prescriptions and appointments.
2) Farejador do Planalto, Brazil
Farejador do Planalto offers Brazilian citizens a way to track, monitor and compare the expenses and absence percentages of congressmen and senators, and share them on social networks.
3) Geo Sketch, Saudi Arabia
Geo Sketch lets you share your ideas, thoughts, comments, or annotations with friends, coworkers and students as a sketch on a map.
4) D.I.Y. Property, Singapore
D.I.Y. Property is a website that helps users to buy, sell or rent property in Singapore.
5) Tourbly, Ghana
Tourbly is a platform that allows tourists to meet up with reliable guides.
6) Grow, United States
Grow is a modern static site generator and content management system that is designed for the cloud.
Winners of the Social / Personal Productivity / Games / Fun Category:
1) Gdirect, India
Gidrect helps you find your way anywhere on the go without the internet.
2) Research Engine, Mexico
Research Engine is an application that helps researchers comprehensively manage their research projects and documentation.
3) Travellog, United Arab Emirates
Travellog is an open community journal of stories and images from around the world.
4) MishMash, Philippines
MishMash is a social game that turns people from your Google+ circles into different sets of challenges.
5) FunnyLeni, Nigeria
FunnyLeni aggregates hilarious local videos watched by you and your friends off YouTube and connects with your Google+, Facebook and Twitter account to discover videos watched by your friends.
6) Travel Journal, Romania
Travel Journal is an application that can help you plan your entire holiday.
I am personally fascinated by the prospect of watching these ideas and applications evolve over time and to watch future business leaders emerge as a result of the challenge. Have an idea for a future challenge? Grab a developer friend and start brainstorming an app or two. Who knows? Perhaps it will plant a seed for you to win the next challenge yourself and bring the world a valuable app that will make a difference like the great apps that won the Google Cloud Developer Challenge this year.