Google App Inventor: Making Android applications from building blocks
Following a one year test phase, Google has announced that its App Inventor development environment, intended principally for introductory computer education in schools and colleges, is open for beta testing. The software consists of a local component written in Java and a remote Google service which takes care of project management. It runs under Windows, OS X and Linux and requires Java 6. Users must have a valid Google account in order to use App Inventor for Android. Interested users can request access to the beta by completing an online form using their Google account credentials.
App Inventor is aimed at enabling non-programmers to create Android applications. The user combines pre-formed blocks of code from Google in a local editor using a graphical drag & drop user interface. The blocks encapsulate various standard Android functions, such as sending a text, and program structures including loops and
if clauses. The second component of the IDE is the browser-based designer, which is used to create the application's interface. There is no emulator as of yet, so users will need an Android phone connected to their computers via USB to test their apps.
- App Inventor for Android, a Google Research Blog post.