App Inventor is a cloud-based solution which makes it easy to create apps for Android phones and tablets.
Although it was originally developed by Google, it is now looked after by MIT (just like Scratch).
Also like Scratch:
- You use a designer to decide how your app should look
- You use blocks to write code
The site is claiming over 4 million registered users and over 12 million apps having been built!
Apps developed using App Inventor can use most of the functionality of the device including the camera, GPS, and the accelerometer. You can even send and receive SMS messages and read and write NFC tags (if your phone supports this).
A really nice feature of App Inventor is that you can connect to your phone while you are developing an app and you can see it working and the effect of changes to the design/code in real time. To do this you will need to install the free AI2 Companion app from the Google Play store.
Here are some useful links:
- The App Inventor website
- Tutorials for apps you can build (you can filter the list of apps based on the features they use)
- The App Inventor application (you will need a Google account to log in)
- App of the Month competition
- App Inventor Online Book
When you are creating an app, you can also access a “Gallery” of apps which other people have written (just like Scratch). The link for the “Gallery” is at the top of the page on the right.
Here are links to some of the material we have created for App Inventor: