Google App Inventor for Android lets everyone create custom apps

Monday, July 12th, 2010 By

an android phone held in hand

Google App Inventor for Android enables anyone to create custom Android apps with a codeless drag and drop interface. Flickr photo.

Google App Inventor for Android enables you to create your own Android apps. App Inventor is a new tool in Google Labs that makes it easy for anyone to create mobile applications for their Android phone without knowing a stitch of code. Instead of learning Android’s Java code, App Inventor lets you to drag and drop the fundamental building blocks of basic apps to build unique Android apps from scratch.

App Inventor jolts Android market

App Inventor for Android, Google said Monday, was launched because as smartphones become the computers that people rely on most, users should be able to create their own applications. The New York Times reports that App Inventor is a another element of Google’s strategy to gain the upper hand in the Android market by opening its technology to all developers. Google’s arch rival Apple has an infamously restrictive approach to application development for the iPhone. The strategy appears to be working in the Android/Apple battle. Android phones outsold Apple’s iPhone in the first quarter this year.

App Inventor upsets geek community

The concept behind App Inventor is that if everyone can be app creators Android will supplant Apple’s iPhone as the dominant smartphone platform. Google’s Android/Apple market strategy doesn’t sit well with geeks in the ivory towers of the programming priesthood. Tech Crunch calls App Inventor “ugly” and wonders if it is either a “gateway drug for Android app development” or “a Doomsday device that will muck up native app development on the platform.” Tech Crunch laments the rise of WYSIWYG HTML editors, saying the tools that made it easy for anyone to create web pages quickly filled the web with garbage. Their fear is that App Inventor may create “a flood of crappy apps.”

App Inventor: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure

App Inventor enters a landscape where the quality of Android apps is mediocre to begin with, said Larry Dignan at ZDNet. Dignan said many apps are simply useless on Android and iPhone. However, the beauty of App Inventor is that “useless is in the eye of the beholder.” There will be clunkers but marketplace demand will decide what is or is not useless. Apple’s App Store has more than 225,000 apps. AndroidLib estimates that with the introduction of App Inventor the Android marketplace will soon have more than 100,000 mobile apps.

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