App Inventor for Android
Google App Inventor
|Developer(s)||Google, MIT Media Lab|
|Written in||Java, Kawa Scheme|
|Operating system||Web-based application|
|Type||Application software development|
It allows newcomers to computer programming to create software applications for the Android operating system (OS). It uses a graphical interface, very similar to Scratch and the StarLogo TNG user interface, which allows users to drag-and-drop visual objects to create an application that can run on Android devices. In creating App Inventor, Google drew upon significant prior research in educational computing, as well as work done within Google on online development environments.
App Inventor and the projects on which it is based are informed by constructionist learning theories, which emphasizes that programming can be a vehicle for engaging powerful ideas through active learning. As such, it is part of an ongoing movement in computers and education that began with the work of Seymour Papert and the MIT Logo Group in the 1960s and has also manifested itself with Mitchel Resnick's work on Lego Mindstorms and StarLogo.
App Inventor includes:
- A designer, in which a program's components are specified. This includes visible components, such as buttons and images, which are placed on a simulated screen, and non-visible components, such as sensors and web connections.
- A blocks editor, in which the program's logic is created.
- A compiler based on the Kawa language framework and Kawa's dialect of the Scheme programming language, developed by Per Bothner and distributed as part of the GNU operating system by the Free Software Foundation.
- An app for real-time debugging on a connected Android device.
The application was made available through request on July 12, 2010, and released publicly on December 15, 2010. The App Inventor team was led by Hal Abelson and Mark Friedman. In the second half of 2011, Google released the source code, terminated its server, and provided funding for the creation of The MIT Center for Mobile Learning, led by App Inventor creator Hal Abelson and fellow MIT professors Eric Klopfer and Mitchel Resnick. The MIT version was launched in March 2012.
- The blocks editor in the original version ran in a separate Java process, using the Open Blocks Java library for creating visual blocks programming languages. Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Scheller Teacher Education Program (STEP) and is derived from master's thesis research by Ricarose Roque. Professor Eric Klopfer and Daniel Wendel of the Scheller Program supported the distribution of Open Blocks under an MIT License. Open Blocks visual programming is closely related to StarLogo TNG, a project of STEP, and Scratch, a project of MIT Media Laboratory's Lifelong Kindergarten Group. App Inventor 2 replaced Open Blocks with Blockly, a blocks editor that runs within the browser.
- The AI2 Companion app enables real-time debugging on connected devices via Wi-Fi, not just USB.
As of May 2014, there were 87 thousand weekly active users of the service and 1.9 million registered users in 195 countries for a total of 4.7 million apps built.
- Android software development
- Logo (programming language)
- Lego Mindstorms
- StarLogo TNG
- Windows Phone App Studio
- Hardesty, Larry (August 19, 2010). "The MIT roots of Google's new software". MIT News Office.
- "On the Shoulders of Giants!". Google. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
- "The Kawa Language Framework". Retrieved May 30, 2012.
- "GNU Manuals online". Retrieved May 30, 2012.
- Wolber, David; Abelson, Hal; Spertus, Ellen; Looney, Liz (May 2011), App Inventor for Android: Create Your Own Android Apps, O'Reilly, ISBN 978-1-4493-9748-7
- "App Inventor @ MIT".
- "MIT Launches New Center for Mobile Learning". August 16, 2011.
- Clark,first=Andrew (December 30, 2013), App Inventor launches second iteration
- App Inventor Classic, December 3, 2013
- Official website
- App Inventor for Android repository at GitHub
- Tutorial, Tips, Sample Apps
- AppInventor.org:On-line book and video tutorials