Calling all apps writers.

Mayor Jerry Sanders launched an AT&T San Diego Apps Challenge on Jan. 12, seeking innovative ways that software developers can partner with the City of San Diego to create new applications for smartphones that enhance city services.

Winners of the competition (there are 11 awards in all) will split $50,000 in prize money donated by challenge sponsors AT&T, San Diego Gas & Electric Co., Connect, and CleanTech San Diego. The contest is open to amateur, professional and student developers who will use data provided by the city and its partners.

Apps for the challenge must use at least one data set from the city and partner sources, but may also incorporate data from other sources.

The grand-prize winner for the best overall app gets $15,000. Other categories include best energy app ($5,000); government innovation app ($5,000); and best high school student-created app ($2,500).

Winners will be selected by a panel of judges recruited from the technology and venture capital sectors and partner institutions. The public will select two popular choice awards.

The deadline to submit applications is April 11. For more info, check the website for the challenge at sdappschallenge.com.

— Mike Allen