Today, the results of the first judgment phase of the bada Developer Challenge were published. From 300 applications who passed into the “Simulator Phase” 90 winners are announced who advance to the final “Device Phase”. Right now an online vote is running, where everyone can pick his favorite 6 nominees from the final 90 apps.
This will not set the final winners, though. According to Samsung’s information the online voting results partially account to the final decision of winners. A nice goodie is, that under all voters 10 are randomly picked and awarded a free Samsung Wave handset.
The Online Voting runs together with the Device Developing Phase in the period of 16th Sept. – 23rd Oct. where the 90 lucky developers have time to optimize their applications built for the Windows SDK Simulator for the real handset. For this purpose they, as well as the other 210 winners of the Simulator Phase, receive a Samsung Wave to continue development. Additionally everyone of the 90 Device Phase contestants is assured a prize of at least $8,000, and the final bada Champion may rejoice over a total of $300,000.
Despite the smooth progress of the bada Challenge, some criticism arose on the bada Challenge Forums questioning the fairness and neutrality of application judgment. Of course many who didn’t make it into one of the two crucial challenge phases are disappointed, but I partially agree with several aspects of their criticism. It is noticeable that there are barely any productivity applications under the final 90. Most of them can be counted towards Entertainment and Gaming categories, this might stand in context with Samsung’s policies of steering bada more into the direction of Entertainment with a young target group instead of a productive business device.
If you aren’t that much into gaming, the amount of interesting apps under the top 90 is pretty slim. The practical use of this Online Voting is also questionable considering that we cannot test the functionality of the applications at all, instead the decisions solemnly rely on the descriptive text and sometimes awkward screenshots. Regarding this, it cannot be denied that there are several badly designed applications as well and according to forum feedback it seems that the challenge judges provided self-shot screenshots, which sometimes end up very insignificant, too.
Despite occasional let-downs let’s hope we can soon welcome a flood of apps entering the Appstore which got sorted out beforehand, and that developers continue developing for bada.