If you have ever dreamed of creating your own mobile application, Google's App Inventor may be just the tool you're looking for. Created by Google, and maintained by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this open-source technology allows users to create and develop software applications for the Android operating system. Thanks to its visual interface and drag-and-drop technology, App Inventor is a great tool for budding developers to test and improve their skills in application development.
App Inventor is a Google application that allows users to create their own Android smartphone applications. Here is a brief introduction about the features of this new program.
Download and Install App Inventor
In order to install the program, you must first register on the Inventor App official website. Permission from Google will be required for use.
To download the application, fill out this questionnaire. Note that a Gmail account will be required to proceed.
App Inventor OS Requirements
App Inventor is compatible with Macintosh, Windows, and GNU/Linux operating systems, including MacOSX 10.5 and 10.6, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7; as well as Ubuntu 8 + and Debian 5 +.
Web browsers compatible with App Inventor include Firefox 3.6 or higher, Apple Safari 5.0 or higher, Google Chrome 4.0 or higher, as well as Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or higher. Note that Java 1.6 must be installed. If you don't already have Java installed on your computer, click here to download.
App Inventor Mobile Requirements
This application is currently limited to the Android operating system. To use the software, you'll need to connect a USB cable with the computer running the software.
Note that you may use App Inventor even without a smartphone. The application includes an emulator that helps to replace a mobile phone.
App Inventor Features
App Inventor is an out-of-the-box application that allows you to automatically view on screen the progress made while developing an application. Its operation is simple: simply combine visual components associated with blocks of code to customize the application:
The application allows users to assemble simple features almost like a puzzle. Some available features include buttons, text boxes, images, sounds, a Finder, and contact information:
For a more in-depth tutorial, you may watch the Google Labs tutorial. Alternatively, YouTube also has a few short tutorials on application creation.
When it comes to sharing your application, several factors should be taken into account. Both Apple and Android audiences offer various strengths and weaknesses in regards to market and accessibility. Here are a few points to consider when publishing your application.
Access to the Apple platform is available with a limited number of models, namely, the iPhone. As a result, users will have access to a limited number of offers and features.
On the other hand, the Android market will be much more competitive. The Android platform can be accessed via a range of about sixty handsets, from high-end to low-cost smartphone models.
In April 2010, Apple claimed that there are some 85 million iPhone and iPod Touch users in the world.
In contrast, the growth of its competitors has been quite impressive over the past few years. According to Google, about 160,000 devices are equipped with Android every day. That's the equivalent of five million devices per month!
Those wishing to create or purchase applications can choose between two radically different services. The App Store provides access to applications (most of them are proprietary software). In order to create one, a license from the website is absolutely mandatory. By comparison, Android works as an open system. Users can choose from many free applications and the operating system is open-source. In addition, the App Inventor software will allow anyone to develop their own application.
Android users can download the App Inventor software here. Additional tutorials, and news updates are also available.
Apple's developer site may be accessed through this link. If you'd like to develop an iPhone application, keep in mind that you will first need to register for a license.