Friday, January 11, 2013

Mobile Development Options - Part 2: MIT App Inventor

by Mark Giglione

Mobile Development Options - Part 2: MIT App Inventor

MIT App Inventor is a web based, visual programming environment for creating Android apps.  App Inventor’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is web based with a graphical user interface. Application programming is accomplished by stacking and connecting graphical building block components, reminiscent of jigsaw puzzle pieces.

App Inventor was originally developed by Google but the project is now maintained by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The intent of the App Inventor project is to provide an environment in which non-technical users can learn application development concepts without initially learning a formal programming language. The initial target audience was high school and college students but the software is open source and free to use by any interested party.

App Inventor is also representative of a class of web based, graphical development environments for building both Android and iOS applications. Many of these environments are commercial; typically the commercial services have a low entry cost initially but subsequently additional services for developing and publishing applications may need to be purchased. However, these services are broadly similar in concept to the MIT App Inventor and App Inventor can provide a “free” introduction for exploring and evaluating this type of mobile app development environment.

MIT App Inventor

Wikipedia: App Inventor for Android