Google App Inventor Now Rolling Out

Google recently announced the App Inventor, a convenient tool to help you get started in making Android apps. To get started you have to register, and wait for access. I figured I’d get an email when I was able to connect, but I didn’t see anything. Today I was able to log in, so I ran through a couple of the basic tutorials.

So, how exactly do you use the App Inventor?

“To use App Inventor, you do not need to be a 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.”
Google App Inventor

To see what that means, check out the image below. It is the more complex of the two tutorials I went though. You are looking at the whack-a-mole app.

The App Inventor takes some time to get used to, and I am sure it will be quite useful in the future. I read through some of the FAQs though, and am wondering how I can apply this app builder to my current projects. Evidently the apps built with this tool aren’t Android Market capable, though it is being worked on. Apparently the file sizes are a little on the large side – also being worked on. Fortunately I have a great place to test my apps. I have an Acer Aspire One netbook with Android 1.5 and no Android Market. This will be a good way to get some new apps on my netbook.

To open the graphical interface, you have to download a file that launches Java. This gets downloaded over and over again as I test and close my apps. I am hoping this will be addressed. It doesn’t seem to happen on the video. Now that I’ve mentioned the video, see it below.

In order to get any of the apps I am working on into the Android Market, I’ll have to keep working on them the hard way. This App Inventor will be pretty useful as features are added and bugs are fixed. Go ahead and check it out here. If it doesn’t let you in, you can at least sign up for the waiting list. It didn’t take too long to gain access.

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