Samsung Looks To Build A Galaxy Of Apps
May 20, 2013

Samsung Developer Contest Seeks To Build A Galaxy Of Apps

Enid Burns for — Your Universe Online

To create content for its Galaxy smartphones, Samsung is kicking off the Samsung Smart App Challenge 2013. The Challenge calls for developers to create apps that make use of the Samsung Smart Chord SDK, to run on the Galaxy S4 handset.

The entry period runs from June 20 through the end of August, with judging occurring in October and November. Winners will be announced in December. Samsung said there will be up to ten winning entries, and each will receive $800,000 in total prizes. Each winner will be eligible for investment evaluation from Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, as well as multiple marketing promotion. This is the second consecutive year that Samsung has held such an app challenge.

"With Samsung Smart App Challenge 2013, Samsung is going to boost mobile ecosystem," said Won-Pyo Hong, president and head of the Samsung Electronics Media Solution Center, in a corporate statement. "At Samsung we will continue to encourage mobile developers to develop new and innovative applications with newly-launched features of Galaxy series. The Samsung Smart App Challenge will greatly enhance application choices for Galaxy S4 so users can enjoy a valuable experience."

Samsung's Smart Chord SDK is used for media streaming and impromptu networking, Slashgear reports. It is a modification to the android for the S4, and makes information sharing between nearby devices simpler. "Much as DLNA and UPnP have attempted to do with media streaming, the Chord SDK opens impromptu networking up to apps, games and more," wrote Slashgear´s Tim Davies.

Samsung hopes to build up content for its Samsung Apps download store. It also hopes to create content that is exclusive to Samsung, and to the company's flagship Galaxy S4 device.

A drive for the development of apps for the Chord feature will ensure adoption by users. "The company is particularly looking for apps that can be coordinated with Samsung's 'Group Play' service. Group Play is a function highlighted on Samsung's latest Galaxy S4 smartphone that allows users to share certain content such as photos, games and music at the same time and interact with one another," the Wall Street Journal explained.

Without a number of apps to support the feature, Chord could be an overlooked feature. By putting a spotlight on Chord, Samsung is encouraging adoption, and increasing the likelihood that Chord will be used on other Samsung handsets, and possibly licensed to other companies for use on other Android devices.

There have been a few features Samsung has created for its phones, including a proprietary chat app called Chat On, which was launched a few years ago and was met with little success, the Journal reports.

"To be sure, Samsung's strength has always been in hardware manufacturing rather than software. But analysts say better software would certainly give the South Korean company a competitive edge," said the Journal.

The Smart App Challenge is a way for Samsung to build its ecosystem of apps as well as highlight some of the phone's unique capabilities. Samsung will also have to market the app store in addition to the apps, in order to drive traffic to their store instead of Google Play, where most Android apps are available and downloaded.