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 anyone familiar with 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, that 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.
The application was made available through request on July 12, 2010, and released publicly on December 15, 2010. Google terminated App Inventor on December 31, 2011. The MIT Center for Mobile Learning is now supporting it under the name "MIT App Inventor".
In creating App Inventor for Android, Google drew upon significant prior research in educational computing, and work done within Google on online development environments.
The blocks editor uses the Open Blocks Java library for creating visual blocks programming languages. Open Blocks is distributed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Scheller Teacher Education Program (STEP) and derives 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 the MIT License. Open Blocks visual programming is closely related to the StarLogo TNG, a project of the Klopfer's STEP, and Scratch, a project of the MIT Media Laboratory's Lifelong Kindergarten Group. These projects are themselves 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. The App Inventor team was led by Hal Abelson and Mark Friedman.
The compiler that translates the visual blocks language for implementation on Android uses 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.
In August 2011, Google announced that App Inventor would be discontinued as a Google product, and that the code would become open sourced. It is now part of the MIT Center for Mobile Learning at the MIT Media Lab, run by App Inventor creator Hal Abelson, along with fellow MIT professors Eric Klopfer and Mitchel Resnick (both of whom were also instrumental in the creation of the project).
See also 
- Android software development
- Logo (programming language)
- Lego Mindstorms
- StarLogo TNG
- "App Inventor @ MIT".
- 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.
- 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
- "The Kawa Language Framework". Retrieved May 30, 2012.
- "GNU Manuals online". Retrieved May 30, 2012.
- App Inventor official website
- App Inventor open source project
- Tutorial, Tips, Sample Apps
- AppInventor.org:On-line book and video tutorials