Mar 02 AT 7:01 PM Taylor Wimberly 86 Comments

Google rewards Android devs with free phones in new seeding program

Google sent out emails today informing users of a new Device Seeding Program for top Android Market Developers. Developers who have an application in the Android Market with a 3.5 star rating (or higher) and 5000 unique downloads qualify to receive a free Motorola Droid or Nexus One. Devs are not allowed to pick which phone they receive and models are decided depending on your country of origin and other factors.

No word on how many actually qualify for this, but it looks like several thousand devs will be rewarded with Android 2.x phones soon.

Update: I see a lot of people think this offer is too good to be true and have concerns of a phishing scam. I’ve reached out to my contact at Google and will post a response if I get one. From what I can tell, the email appeared to be legit.

Update 2: Roman Nurik, Android Developer Relations for Google, states that this is real on the official Android Developers Google Group.

Update 3: I received a second confirmation from an official Google spokesperson:

“A thriving developer community is an important part of creating a better mobile experience for users around the world. We hope that offering devices to developers will make it easier for them to create and test great applications. This is inline with other efforts to support developers, which also includes our Android Developer Labs World Tour and our upcoming participation at the Game Developers Conference.”

Due to your contribution to the success of Android Market, we would like to present you with a brand new Android device as part of our developer device seeding program. You are receiving this message because you’re one of the top developers in Android Market with one or more of your applications having a 3.5 star or higher rating and more than 5,000 unique downloads.

In order to receive this device, you must click through to this site, read the terms and conditions of the offer and fill out the registration form to give us your current mailing address so that we can ship your device.

You will receive either a Verizon Droid by Motorola or a Nexus One. Developers with mailing addresses in the US will receive either a Droid or Nexus one, based on random distribution. Developers from Canada, EU, and the EEA states (Norway, Lichtenstein), Switzerland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore will receive a Nexus One. Developers with mailing addresses in countries not listed above will not receive a phone since these phones are not certified to be used in other countries.

We hope that you will enjoy your new device and continue to build more insanely popular apps for Android!Eric ChuAndroid Mobile Platform

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • schwiz

    wow you wasted no time getting this story up, I only received my email a few minutes ago. This is totally awesome I can’t wait! I hope they send me a nexus!

  • rob franz

    Would be nice to get an email confirmation that the registration was successful :-/

    • ExtremeT

      yeah that put me a bit on edge since all it says is thanks lol

    • Beshoy Girgis

      It’s a Google Docs form… Currently, there’s no way to set an autoresponder on those… (I’ve suggested it… no response) lol

  • ExtremeT

    God I am already out of patience waiting to see what I receive and it’s only been like 5 minutes lol

  • http://Website Guy

    I have received this email, but it seems a little fishy. I think I will wait till Google says something about this before I fill it out.

  • Markus Junginger

    Is there any proof that this site is for real? I mean, anyone could set up a site at Could be a well done phishing site, which I do not hope… ;)

  • Jake Wharton

    Phishy more like. Why would Google create a sites page for this and not a top-level page on their domain or at least the android subdomain?

  • http://Website Josh

    This looks extremely phishy! The site is not on the google domain, it is just a “sites” page. The form is a google doc/spreadsheet and it is asking for your apps developer information – which Google would already know. If Google wanted to do this, they would just send an email saying they are doing it, not ask you for your Google information – that makes no sense.

  • http://Website DDe

    Question is do you actually have an app like what’s described?
    I do. If anyone doesn’t but received it, please let us know

  • http://Website Supreeth

    I agree there should be a confirmation mail :)
    Can’t wait to see what I get, hopefully NEXUS ONE …

  • Luca

    I received the email too, but I am not sure whether to trust it or not. The website it links to does not look very professional, and it belongs to Google Sites, so technically it could belong to anybody. What do you guys think? I am always very suspicious about freebies…

    • http://Website Guy

      I feel the same way, which is why I am waiting for Google to say something

  • http://Website sks

    It just says that the response will appear in their spreadsheet…. did this happen for you guys??

    I’m just worried b/c of the old security principle that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is :/

    but if it’s real, YESSSSSSSSSS FREE PHONE!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://Website Louie

    I’m very suspicious about this. I’d like to get some confirmation from Google that this is legit before I give my info.

  • schwiz

    I think its legit because it came from an email address, also it doesn’t ask for any real sensitive information, just your shipping address and confirmation number for when you paid your market fee.

    • http://Website Guy

      But at the same time, it uses the google sites hosting service. If it was really from Google would it not be under a regular domain? like the android market domain or something?

  • http://Website Guy
  • http://Scam? Bob Herrrmann

    Some people are concerned this is a scam to collect dev accounts. If so, my hat is off to the person doing this – they got just about every detail right. Is there something about the knowing the original google checkout order number that lets somebody hack a dev account?

    • Luca

      I was wondering the same thing.

  • rob franz

    looking @ the headers from the email – contains – supposedly this is used for google mass emails.

    Put a search in Google for and it appears there’s been previous concerns with emails like this.

    Hope this is legitimate :-)

  • http://Website Guy

    Quote from Thomas Riley at the link I posted:
    ust done a little googling, the email was mailed-by
    That system appears to be googles internal method of sending batch
    mail, that makes it genuine to me!

  • Alberto Vildosola

    oh oh this looks very fake, be careful, wonder how many fell for it?

  • http://Website Thomas Riley

    Hey all fellow happy lucky developers!

    It is odd how they used sites but keep in mind they often use a google sites page to collect information for Android dev stuff like ADL2010.

    This way the data goes straight into a spreadsheet which someone can sort out. (eg, I think Reto Meier was sorting out the London ADL2010 stuff in this way).

  • Jason

    Ya tell me about it. I got my email 30 minutes ago and this is already up …. you guys waste no time.

    I am hoping for a Nexus One as well, but even if I get a droid I know there will be other people who want droids instead of nexus’s. So I am sure there will be some swapping going on :)

    • schwiz

      I would take a Droid if it worked on other networks I already sold my soul to Tmobile for another year.

      • rob franz

        Hey Schwiz, if you get a Nexus One and I get a Droid, wanna trade? I don’t have Verizon, and I can’t use it where I’m at (

        • schwiz

          you didn’t read my comment carefully I was saying I can’t use a droid either.

          • rob franz

            Oh yeah. Sorry, it was still kind of early here.

    • http://GotDroidyesterday.WillswapforN1 droidguy

      Anyone? Me and my family are on Tmobile. Can’t switch to Verizon?

  • http://Website Diz(WARE)

    The email says it was signed by Google in the sending info…I don’t think I’ve ever received an email that was signed before, so I don’t know if this is possible that it can be faked. Anybody know?

    • http://Website sks

      My Google Checkout receipt for the market says signed-by as well

      • http://Website Guy

        Hmm, my checkout receipts are signed too… Maybe it is real?

  • haydenTheAndroid

    Got the email, but will wait for confirmation it is valid.

  • Serg

    This is Legit. I looked at other official emails sent to me by Google and it all come from same ip address.

  • Eric Caron

    This is legit. I got the message just a while ago, and looking at the message headers (which can’t be forged), it definitely came from Google. Hurray for our awesome apps!

  • rob franz

    This was on Google Groups:

    Roman Nurik
    View profile
    More options Mar 3, 11:46 am
    Folks, the email is NOT a fake. We will look into the email issues.
    Roman Nurik
    Android Developer Relations, Google
    NOTE: please do not send me email directly about this.

    • Luca

      Maybe I am too suspicious, but this reply on Google Groups may be another fake…

      • http://Website sks

        Isn’t it Romain Guy that’s associated with android?? I’ve never heard of this Roman Nurik….. :/

  • nah0y

    Romain Guy also confirmed this on twitter :

    Yeah ! Thank you google !

  • schwiz

    woot! this is so awesome ^.^ I am going to GDC next week too so this is 2 free Nexus in 1 month my wife is so happy she gets one now too lol

  • Rafael Sacnhes

    hahahaha i freaked out when my reply email bounced back with “Mailbox disabled for this recipient”.

  • Maliek Mcknight

    Good job getting this article up. Phishing was my first concern as well.

  • Ricky Olivares

    They all deserve whichever phone they get. I really can’t wait for T-Mobile to get a cool and exciting Android phone, I’m tired of my BB, don’t miss my G1. But I do want to go back to Android some day.

  • sks

    Hey everybody,

    First off, congrats on qualifying. We rock.

    Second, we don’t know yet which phone we’ll get, but… I DO know people will want to switch. I’ve set up a forum where we can trade info… . For verification, you’ll have to send an email from your developer email address to android at with the app that qualifies you and your desired user name. If it all checks out I’ll approve you… and hopefully we can all get the free phone we want :)

  • http://Website michael [email protected]

    Now that ur all in one place I just wanted to express my deepest appreciation to all of you for your haerd work and selfless sense of community. You all deserve this if its legit.

  • Ron

    I would love a second Droid, but not good at programming yet, and my sincerest congratulation to all the dev for their outstanding hard work…

    • http://Website Gary

      Hi, Ron

      I got another droid and I really want a N1. would you like to trade if you got a N1. Thanks a lot!

  • http://Website michael [email protected]

    Ok what malicious idiot rated my above comment negative a point? What you don’t think devs desereve a thank you? No surprise you just rated and left without posting. I wish u a virus because you probably run windows on ur computer.

    • http://Website tr1

      Well today crosses out next day air >.<

      • http://Website tr1

        oops i meant to wish you a virus and post that at the bottom.

  • http://Website Ryan

    Hey Ron, I’m really hoping to get a Nexus One as part of the program, I will happily swap with you if we end up with a phone the other would rather have.

  • http://Website brett

    hmm, well im not a dev, but my friend is and until google confirms it I would wait.

    1. that repost on the forum was to a non-existent profile, not the real guys. It also says dont contact.

    2. that twitter is for a guy that WANTS to work at google, not a guy that works at google, according to the side bar.

    3. it is not on an official google page, can be made by anyone.

    My friend is going to wait till he sees it on a real google page, or until there is a real google employee confirming this kind of thing. there is no press release and its not in the dev blog.

    • Diz(WARE)

      Uhh…well Romain Guy does work for Google in the android project, as well as Roman Nurik…both have confirmed that this is true. Also, Update 3 in this post clearly says that Google responded to Taylor about it with a confirmation that it is actually real.

  • http://Website Johnny Awkward

    @brett: Romain Guy does work for Google – the hopefully part of his twitter sidebar refers to him being a photographer.

    Still, I’m only about 60% confident it’s legitimate.

    • nEx.Software

      Yeah, Romain Guy is only one of the core Android Engineers working at Google.

      I wouldn’t believe him either

  • k7k0

    “Developers with mailing addresses in countries not listed above will not receive a phone since these phones are not certified to be used in other countries.”
    WTF, I’m a developer I use the phone for testing, the thing don’t leave my house, why I would need a certification? I can bought it in ebay why they can’t send it abroad?

    Nuff said, android market is closed for major countries, gifts also, I hope someday someone take us seriously

    I’m a bit depressed right now :(

    • Lo’oris

      Yeah, it makes no sense.

      If it’s not “certified” or whatever maybe you don’t want to sell it, but as long as you send it for free, as long as it actually works it’s fine.

      They don’t sell in Italy, but they just work anyway and I know plenty of people (including me) who managed to get one and use successfully.

  • Miguel

    Reto Meier also confirms that it’s true: “Device Seeding Program for Top Android Market Developers” offering a free Nexus One is absolutely real. Thx for your hard work, congrats!

  • http://Website icobasco

    I’m confident :)
    I put the data in the form…..and now I hope ;)
    I’ll take you updated.


  • http://Website newspeak

    i would totally put your carrier in with the email …it can’t hurt right

  • http://Website huycar

    The site has now been up for (at least, based on the time i got my mail) more than 6 hours. I’m starting to think it’s legit because Google would kill this site instantly if it wasn’t.

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  • http://Website app developer

    I am the biggest skeptic in the world and after reading all I could on the subject, I figure it’s worth the gamble and fill out the form. The ONLY piece of information not currently publicly available is my Google order number. Other than that, anyone can find me in the phone book. So if it’s fake, they got a useless order number. If it’s real, I get a phone. Based on all the confirmations, game theory says to fill out the form. It’s basically a no-lose/win situation.

  • http://Website Michael

    I’m totally agree with you!
    I’m a developer – I need phone only for TESTING apps/games. It’s really disapoint me :(

    What about Milestone? (European Droid clone)

  • http://Website Supreeth

    Heh guys,

    I just got this mail from google …

    ” We’ve received your information for the Android Market Device Seeding Program and have successfully validated the Google Order Number from your developer account.
    Your information will now be sent to our shipping partner for order processing ” …

    Need the NEXUS ONE, keeping my fingers crossed :)
    Thanks Google …

  • http://Website _Auron_

    Seems the top 200 devs in ADC2 are also getting free phones, because I got another email saying they’re seeding to ADC2 finalists as well. Does that mean I’m getting two free phones? Hope they’re not both the same.

  • http://Website Pichdude

    Has anyone received a free phone yet?

  • http://Website Steven

    I got my N1 on March 24, 2010. So much better than the G1.

  • Matt

    I got my Nexus One today! (3/26/2010)
    I won’t see it until I get home from work though.

  • http://Website Antonio

    I got my Nexus One today!! (3/26/2010)
    I’m gonna open it right now! XD…

  • http://Website Gary

    Sign! I got a droid and anyone want trade? Thanks

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  • http://Website Hans

    Anyone in Germany or other European country received a free phone yet? I did not… :(

  • http://GotDroidyesterday.WillswapforN1 droidguy

    Got Droid yesterday. Will swap for N1. Anyone? Me and my family are on Tmobile. Can’t switch to Verizon.

  • Wizi

    We are based in Lisbon, Portugal and have just received a HTC Nexus One.

    • http://Website stephen skalamera

      I received a free motorola droid, but does anyone know how to stop the free service on it from google and switch it to your current verizon service with your current number?

  • androhits

    Did anyone received his phone in France ? We didn’t yet.


    i will start to develp in android plataform

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