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Google App Inventor for Android

 11:47 am on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google App Inventor for Android [nytimes.com]
Google is bringing Android software development to the masses.

The company will offer a software tool, starting Monday, that is intended to make it easy for people to write applications for its Android smartphones.

The free software, called Google App Inventor for Android (http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/about/), has been under development for a year. User testing has been done mainly in schools with groups that included sixth graders, high school girls, nursing students and university undergraduates who are not computer science majors.

App Inventor for Android [appinventor.googlelabs.com]
To use App Inventor, you do not need to be a developer. App Inventor requires NO programming knowledge. This is because instead of writing code, you visually design the way the app looks and use blocks to specify the app's behavior.



 11:55 am on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm curious to see how this works. I've seen lots of visual development tools over the years that claim you don't need any programming knowledge, but none ever allow you to build anything beyond the most simplistic apps.


 12:08 pm on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

This certainly strikes at Apple's weak spot: tight control over apps. I agree that no-coding simplicity often means very limited functionality, but we'll see.


 1:17 pm on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

All they need is to breed an army of "Paul the Oracle Octopus" and then we are all ready to use the software! Or rant about it and generate CONTENT for the ADDS!


 2:45 pm on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just love it (not) when Google releases something and everyone runs to go try it only to find that you need to submit your email for "consideration".

If you aren't ready to let the masses in to play, WHY ANNOUNCE THE DAMN THING?

Aggravating to say the least.

My favorite part of the NYT story:
Its leading rival, Apple, takes a more tightly managed approach to application development for the iPhone, controlling the software and vetting the programs available.


If Apple was doing so much vetting how did this happen?

Developers Apps Removed From App Store Over Hacking Complaints [webmasterworld.com]


 3:25 pm on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Two years from now we'll be saying, "Hey, remember apps? Ha ha ha."

From what I am seeing, "apps" as a means of accessing the web are a fad; there will be some on screen mobile tools, of course. but, for the most part HTML5, among other reasons (this do-it-yourself tool, for example, and the fact that people will get bored with them and there will be issues in maintaining them and security, of course) will kill this golden goose.

It was a sweet ride for some, however.


 4:45 pm on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am actually excited about this. I have the sdk and emulator already, and am looking forward to this.
Maybe it's just me, but if I get a head start, it's easier to move ahead, then start from scratch. The developer center helps me with that perfectly. And I can learn and grab what I need along the way.


 5:37 pm on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Weeks, you couldn't be more wrong. It feels like you don't even own a phone capable of apps. They're a lot more advanced than a means of accessing the web. I'd suggest doing a bit more research.


 9:05 pm on Jul 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

This looks pretty cool. Planning on trying it and asking my 10 year old to try building an app with it. Could be very fun and educational.


 12:24 am on Jul 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just sent a son to Stanford to learn how to write apps for the Android. I guess that was a waste of money!


 3:03 am on Jul 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Looking forward to playing with this as well. I have been loosing the battle of trying to learn the SDK.

ohh ubuntu is supported. :)



 2:49 pm on Jul 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

It appears that unless you are a student or an educator you will not get invited?


 3:43 pm on Jul 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

I guess we can just keep knocking but they won't let us in.

Again I ask the question:


Really annoying.


 4:15 pm on Jul 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Good point. It allows you to download and install the software, but it wont work until you have been let in the front door.



 1:19 am on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

I did find that it once they release it online, that you can use an emulator, if you don't have an Android phone.

now, just open up the site so I can play with it please.


 3:52 am on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Everyone is aware, of course that Google stole a page from Palm which has introduced Ares for mobile apps dev a year ago already. Of course, none of the tech reporters whom we trust will ever attribute the idea to the company that actually innovated on this and actually has the the thing working and used to make apps already. And don't dismiss the comment because Palm has a smaller market share. The OS is way ahead of any other one in the mobile space, including meego.


 6:00 pm on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've been replaced by a machine. ;(

No point in looking for Android development jobs now.

Too bad I've spent months developing an Android app. My next ten competitors will just generate one in a day.

Yes, I know. No point in holding back the industry just so my family can eat. ;(


 1:44 pm on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

I applied but haven't been given access yet. How long does it take? Any ideas?


 1:59 pm on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sierra, if anything, you've just become more valuable as an Android developer. As soon as the serious people fail to get any results from this toy, they will come and ask real devs to finish and make new apps for them. The adoption rate of such tools is very low. This thing is good for the classroom, but not for the real world.


 7:31 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sierra, if anything, you've just become more valuable as an Android developer.

So very true. I've helped plenty of folks move away from the drag and drop solutions into something that functions and solves a real need.

I wouldn't worry.


 12:55 am on Aug 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Guess what, I finally got APPROVED A MONTH LATER to use App Inventor and built my first little app.

It's an odd split between a browser tool, windows tool and a component in the phone.

Takes a while to get used to the odd configuration assuming it all works right in the first place, which it didn't for me, took about an hour to figure out what why it wasn't working.

Not bad for rapid prototyping of screen layouts but it's not good for anything too complex.

Still tinkering with it and the jury is out ;)

Robert Charlton

 7:46 am on Sep 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Has anybody who's a non-programmer built anything useful with it?

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