Write Android Apps without Programming Knowledge

NDROID PROGRAMMINGThanks to the app revolution, everyone wants to Develop Android, iPhone Applications, even if they are not programmers. Google understands you, that is why they are bringing Android software development to the masses.

Google is now offering a free software tool, that is intended to make it easy for people to write applications using Google App Inventor for Android. If you doubt your capability of writing apps using this tool, consider this — non-engineering background schoool students have been able to build great android apps using this tool.

“The goal is to enable people to become creators, not just consumers, in this mobile world,” said Harold Abelson, a computer scientist at MIT who had been working for Google’s Project.

How to write Android apps with App Inventor

ITtis as simple as it could be. You can drag and drop blocks of code — shown as graphic images and representing different smartphone capabilities— and put them together, similar to snapping together Lego blocks. The result is an application on that person’s smartphone.

For instance, one student made a program to inform a selected list of friends, with a short text message, where he was every 15 minutes. The program was created by putting three graphic code blocks together: one block showed the phone’s location sensor, another showed a clock (which he set for 15-minute intervals), and third linked to a simple database on a Web site, listing the selected friends.

There are 100s of such apps already developed before the launch of the tool.

The tool is Web-based except for a small software download that automatically syncs the programs created on a personal computer, connected to the application inventor Web site, with an Android smartphone. When making programs, the phone must be connected to a computer with a USB.

You can build just about any app you can imagine with App Inventor. You can also build apps that inform and educate. You can create a quiz app to help you and your classmates study for a test. With Android’s text-to-speech capabilities, you can even have the phone ask the questions aloud and what not.

The App Inventor team has created blocks for just about everything you can do with an Android phone, as well as blocks for doing “programming-like” stuff– blocks to store information, blocks for repeating actions, and blocks to perform actions under certain conditions. There are even blocks to talk to services like Twitter.

App Inventor is simple to use, but also very powerful. Apps you build can even store data created by users in a database, so you can create a make-a-quiz app in which the teachers can save questions in a quiz for their students to answer.

Because App Inventor provides access to a GPS-location sensor, you can build apps that know where you are. You can build an app to help you remember where you parked your car, an app that shows the location of your friends or colleagues at a concert or conference, or your own custom tour app of your school, workplace, or a museum.
You can write apps that use the phone features of an Android phone. You can write an app that periodically texts “missing you” to your loved ones, or an app “No Text While Driving” that responds to all texts automatically with “sorry, I’m driving and will contact you later”. You can even have the app read the incoming texts aloud to you (though this might lure you into responding).
App Inventor provides a way for you to communicate with the web. If you know how to write web apps, you can use App Inventor to write Android apps that talk to your favorite web sites, such as Amazon and Twitter.

Sample apps »

How App Inventor Works

The blocks editor uses the Open Blocks Java library for creating visual blocks programming languages. 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 OS.

I see a lot of potential and upcoming explosion of apps in the future. What are your thoughts? Would you write one?

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  • http://thebusy.me isogashii

    Visual Basic “like” IDE! that's indeed “Google-like” move.
    The more application the more satisfied customers, and more new purchases.
    Go to it Google ;) Thanks for sharing.

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  • Mayfieldblogger1

    I understand that anyone is enabled to create any app, but is there any kind of sensor on that or should there be ? Way to go Google for finding another way to take over but I think there should be some kind if discretion. There is such a thing as to much freedom.

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    • Bryguy

      tell that to the Veterans of the wars that fought for you to say that..

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  • http://techinfo-4u.com/ Robert B

    I don't think to many people would be bothered with this really. Ok i guess it would be fun to play with for a bit, but would you honestly be able to create any worthwhile apps?

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    • Chrisfs59

      The article mentions an apps that responds to text messages while driving or quizes for studying. While they are not world shattering and will not result in millions of downloads, they seem to be worthwhile for the people to created them. I think that the idea is to give people more control over the capabilities of their own personal devices rather than rely of a product designer to guess the personal needs of thousands of individuals

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  • Rokas G.

    Wow this is great, I was just looking how to start creating something on my own and it will be great place to start. I guess if and then I get really hooked and there will be something I wont be able to create with App inventor I should have enough motivation to get into java and android platform for more advanced features

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