App Inventor is a new tool in Google Labs that makes it easy for anyone (programmers and non-programmers, professionals and students) to create mobile applications for Android-powered devices. Its basically a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) tool for app development on the Android platform.
App Inventor lets you develop applications for Android phones using a web browser and either a connected phone or emulator. so if you If you don’t have an Android phone, you can build your apps using the Android emulator, software that runs on your computer and behaves just like the phone. The App Inventor servers store your work and help you keep track of your projects.
Basically it has two components :-
- The App Inventor Designer, where you select the components for your app.
- The App Inventor Blocks Editor, where you assemble program blocks that specify how the components should behave. You assemble programs visually, fitting pieces together like pieces of a puzzle.
Google has leveraged the Open Blocks Java Library project — also an M.I.T. export — and added Android-specific bits to the compiler, so you can create an actual .apk, or software installation of your app for Android phones. App Inventor also creates a QR code for your app, so in theory, you have all the pieces needed to submit your software to the Android Market
A few limitations of this app.:
- You can’t create multi-screen apps with App Inventor
- App Inventor does not generate Java source code. So you cannot export the source code to Eclipse or some other IDE to work on it further.
- There are technical limitations preventing an App Inventor app from being uploaded to the Android Market, but Google promises to resolve them soon.
- It’s not possible to build sophisticated apps with it.
App Inventor (beta) is now available in Labs to anyone with a Google account. Visit the App Inventor home page to get set up and start building your first app.
Computer and operating system
- Macintosh (with Intel processor): Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6
- Windows: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
- GNU/Linux: Ubuntu 8+, Debian 5+
- Mozilla Firefox 3.6 or higher
- Apple Safari 5.0 or higher
- Google Chrome 4.0 or higher
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 or higher
Test your Java configuration
Your computer needs to run Java 6 (also known as Java 1.6). You can download Java from www.java.com.