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Build your own Android apps with App Inventor

The Gadget Show  Tuesday 13 July 2010

Build your own Android apps with App Inventor Now anyone can build their own apps for Android smartphones!

Apps. We all use them, we all love them. But have you ever tried to make one?

Well, Google has decided that the answer to that question should be “yes” – even if you don’t know your API from your elbow. It’s just launched the App Inventor, a set of tools that aim to make coding simple, letting you build your own apps for Android smartphones without needing any programming experience at all.

A nice idea in theory, yes, but how does it work in practice? Instead of lines and lines of eye-watering tech code, the App Inventor lets you design how you wish the app to look and the functions you want it to perform using pre-built modules, with all the code-crunching happening behind the scenes.

“The App Inventor team has created blocks for just about everything you can do with an Android phone,” Google claims, “as well as blocks for doing ‘programming-like’ stuff – blocks to store information, blocks for repeating actions, and blocks to perform actions under certain conditions. There are even blocks to talk to services like Twitter.

The company’s latest toy has apparently been in development for around a year, and has been tested on school children with no coding experience at all. Sadly, the back-to-school theme has extended to getting your hands on the App Inventor to give it a try. You’ll have to fill in a form first, as it’s still in beta testing and so is invite-only for now.

Tags:

Android, apps

User comments (2)

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The Pashmeister

Wow, didn't know you could spell android. At last, an article NOT about Apple.

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Hugh

On the surface this sounds like a good idea, but these kinds of tools do two things: 1/ Make it easy to write apps, but difficult/impossible to write really good apps. 2/ Put this capability in the hands of the masses. The inevitable result is the proliferation of all kinds of lame/bad/useless apps. Couple that with the open nature of the Android app store, and you've got a recipe for disaster. While easy programming looks neat from the surface, it usually leads to a bunch of junkware. I'd rather fill my phone with quality applications developed by experienced developers instead of a bunch of junk that some amateur has just thrown together....

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