Like to create an android app for your android device? Google has created a simple way for this. App Inventor is a new tool in Google Labs to create apps for your phone. App Inventor lets you develop applications for Android phones using a web browser and either a connected phone or emulator. The App Inventor servers store your work and help you keep track of your projects.
App Inventor is built on the idea that you do not need to be a developer to build great mobile applications. The application is aimed towards people who are not familiar with computer programming. Instead of code, App Inventor allows you to visually design applications and use blocks to specify application logic. It allows users to drag-and-drop visual objects to create an application that can run on the Android system, which runs on many mobile devices.
Creating an App Inventor app begins in your browser, where you design how the app will look. Then, like fitting together puzzle pieces, you set your app’s behavior. All the while, through a live connection between your computer and your phone, your app appears on your phone.
To use App Inventor, you do not need to be a professional developer. This is because instead of writing code, you visually design the way the app looks and use blocks to specify the app’s behavior.
App Inventor is simple to use, but also very powerful. Apps you build can even store data created by users in a database, so you can create a make-a-quiz app in which the teachers can save questions in a quiz for their students to answer.
Because App Inventor provides access to a GPS-location sensor, you can build apps that know where you are. You can build an app to help you remember where you parked your car, an app that shows the location of your friends or colleagues at a concert or conference, or your own custom tour app of your school, workplace, or a museum.
You can write apps that use the phone features of an Android phone. You can write an app that periodically texts “missing you” to your loved ones, or an app “No Text While Driving” that responds to all texts automatically with “sorry, I’m driving and will contact you later”. You can even have the app read the incoming texts aloud to you (though this might lure you into responding).
App Inventor provides a way for you to communicate with the web. If you know how to write web apps, you can use App Inventor to write Android apps that talk to your favorite web sites, such as Amazon and Twitter.
You build apps by working with:
- The App Inventor Designer, where you select the components for your app.
- The App Inventor Blocks Editor, where you assemble program blocks that specify how the components should behave. You assemble programs visually, fitting pieces together like pieces of a puzzle.
Your app appears on the phone step-by-step as you add pieces to it, so you can test your work as you build. When you’re done, you can package your app and produce a stand-alone application to install.
If you don’t have an Android phone, you can build your apps using the Android emulator, software that runs on your computer and behaves just like the phone.
The App Inventor development environment is supported for Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, and Windows operating systems, and several popular Android phone models. Applications created with App Inventor can be installed on any Android phone.
Before you can use App Inventor, you need to set up your computer and install the App Inventor Setup package on your computer.
Things to do before getting started
- Installing Windows device drivers
- Installing Java on your computer
- Fiddling with settings on your phone