The fruits of 50 individuals' and companies' labors have now paid off to the tune of $25,000, all thanks to a nice little gift from the good folks at the Android Developer Challenge. Google actually unveiled the top 50 applications to be submitted to the contest a few days ago; we've been scouring the list since, and we've definitely noticed a trend -- location-based services. LBS was actually one of Google's "suggested areas of focus" going into the Challenge, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to see a wealth of apps take advantage of Android's rich, pervasive support for them. There's some seriously exciting innovation in the group -- not easy to do, considering the maturity of smartphones as a development platform in general -- and we've got to say, this all bodes really well for Android. Four of the 50 winners have chosen to remain anonymous (ooh, we wonder what sorts of crazy things they're cooking up!), but the remainder have been collected into a convenient slide deck that can be grabbed off the ADC's site. We recommend it; it's a solid, inspiring read, unless you work for an Android competitor, in which case we recommend you kick your third-party developers in their collective behind.

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Google unveils Android Developer Challenge finalists