Monday, 12 July 2010

Google Releases App Inventor for Android

In an innovative new move, Google have released an online app inventor application that allows non-programmers to create apps for Google's Android platform. Here's what Google have to say about it:

"You can build just about any app you can imagine with App Inventor. Often people begin by building games like WhackAMole or games that let you draw funny pictures on your friend's faces. You can even make use of the phone's sensors to move a ball through a maze based on tilting the phone.

But app building is not limited to simple games. You can also build apps that inform and educate. You can create a quiz app to help you and your classmates study for a test. With Android's text-to-speech capabilities, you can even have the phone ask the questions aloud.

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."

Here's a video of it in action:

This is an amazing step forward in the apps market. Up until now, whilst the apps market has been open to carying degrees (with different platforms allowing more creative/programming freedom than others), this is a hgue step forward and is definitely a smart move by Google.

I guess a lot of people might be scepticle and maybe even some programmers are annoyed at this new development, however I think it's a great idea and will no doubt inspire a whole new generation to take up programming. A lot of children, teenagers and young people really enjoy making things; I remember my first steps into HTML via Homestead and Geocities. From there I went on to learnt HTML, CSS and Photoshop. Whilst I doubt people will learn actual coding through this, it just might be the first initial step for kids to get interested and then go on to learn programing languages and I'm all for education within the tech industry.

They also have a lot of tutorials but as yet you can't just register and start making apps. It seems like Google are vetting registrations or maybe there's a waiting list?

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