The App Inventor is a free Java program that allows non-programmers to create simple Android OS apps. While the App Inventor is still in its beta stages, it does offer some interesting possibilities. To help new app designers learn the ropes, the App Inventor website offers a fairly extensive list of tutorials, help files, and videos. A forum for users is also available. Would be designers can use the tutorials to learn about the App Inventor’s operations and features. While the App Inventor was developed non-programmers, it does require some knowledge about software operations.
After trying out the App Inventor for several hours, it became clear that anyone with at least some basic understanding programming will be far more effective in creating a complex app. The program uses fairly in-depth logical command operations in graphical semantics for operations which may push away the less technically inclined. This doesn’t mean that the program does not offer value for beginners without prior experience in designing programs. In many ways the graphical layout of operations is fairly easy to view and understand. Furthermore, the program can also function as a fairly workable interface designer for mobile apps.
Using the App Inventor is fairly easy. A designer can utilize a graphical design screen that simulates a screen from an Android OS smartphone to build an interface. Then the designer can open up the blocks editor screen to use operational logical symbols to create interactions based on the interface. After completing the coded section, the app project can be saved and compiled to test run its operations. The App Inventor comes with an Android OS smartphone emulator and can also connect directly to an Android smartphone.
There are many features that designers can use in the App Inventor. One feature is the ability to use widget-like sub programs into a new application. Another feature is the use of sensors which can be utilized for greater smartphone interaction. A third feature is a tiny database function that can store data throughout a session. There are also upcoming features such as Bluetooth compatibility, game mods, and voice recording features. While the program offers a nice range of features, more will be available as the year unfolds.
The Android App Inventor allows anyone to learn about the process of designing apps. While there is a learning curve involved, designers will find a nice mix of features to add into their proto app inventions. The program is both free to use and easily accessible from Google.com.
For residents of Baltimore, there are several local publishers working on Android apps and there is demand for app programmers.
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