Jul 12 AT 9:24 AM Taylor Wimberly 24 Comments

App Inventor brings web-based WYSIWYG editor to Android

Have you ever dreamed of creating your own Android application, but you have no coding skills whatsoever? Google’s App Inventor for Android is a new software development tool that is designed to bring app design to the masses.

To use App Inventor, you do not need to be a developer. App Inventor requires no programming knowledge because instead of writing code, you visually design the way the app looks and drag-and-drop blocks to specify the app’s behavior.

The web-based software is free and it should go live today after being under development for the last year. Potential users just need to enter their Gmail account on this form and wait as Google grants access over the coming weeks. To help users get started Google has plenty of tutorials, sample apps, and discussion boards.

App Inventor might lead to a wave of new crappware in the Android Market, but it’s exciting that anyone should now be able to create their own apps. All it takes is $25 to register a Market account and publish your own applications.

We have yet to get our hands on App Inventor, so we will have to wait and see if it’s as easy as it looks. Check out Google’s demo video for an idea of what to expect.

Via: New York Times

Source: App Inventor

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website developer

    Google is going to have to do something to make sure the market doesn’t become saturated with apps from this program. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing but it could easily make the android market a laughing stock playground filled with apps from the general public. They either need to make the developer fee a lot higher or start an approval process for these. I’m interested to see how this pans out but it’s a little discouraging to a start up developer who has put a lot of work into developing apps the old fashioned way, nothing will ever replace the traditional development model.

    • http://Website Irfan

      I think that there shouldn’t be any developer fee but approval system should be set for high quality. This is about creativity and encouraging ideas coming to life!

      • http://Website Sullivan

        I don’t want so much of an approval process as much as I’d like to be able to filter by sub categories, where I can exclude certain types of apps (and even filter out certain developers) in the Android Market. Some categories are impossible to browse through)

        It would be nice to be able to filter out comments and ratings from certain people as well (like all those aholes who basically just give any app a 3 or 5 star rating and put in a comment like “You should check out droid farm or pub or whatever….” It’s clear they’re only abusing the open system with blatant spam.

      • http://Website Ryan McKay

        sounds like an Iphone market.

    • http://vitriolix.com vitriolix

      no no no no no. we want choice, we want anyone to be able to publish apps just like they can for pc’s, macs, etc. if you want control and limitations, go get an iOs device.

      If you complain is not being able to find good apps in a noisy, clogged app store, lets talk about that instead. Considering that Google has figured out how to make searching and sorting the ENTIRE INTERNET, a few hundred thousand apps in the app store seems like a much simpler problem to crack.

    • http://Developervs.newbeedesigner Santosh

      I think for too long designers have decided what the users should see on the software side. This is an interesting opportunity for “customer driven” application where the customers can actually design it. MAY BE it would lead to a new collaboration between users and the developers/engineers if designers/engineers would be willing to eat their pride and see what the customer really wants! May be it will force the engineers to get out of geek speak and start talking plain language. Is this a wishful thinking??

  • http://Website Derek

    Awesome can’t wait for some more POS Apps! =] Hopefully it brings us at least 1 great app..

    • http://Website Mike

      Right there with you, most apps on the Market aren’t very good and don’t do what they’re supposed to. A lot of the apps aren’t very useful and there will be more apps with this that don’t have any point to even having them.

  • http://Website Steve

    I’m hoping there will be a separate section of the market for app from here, or that they’re not allowed in the market at all.

    That being said, I’m not a developer and can’t wait to start using this. I have a lot of ideas that stopped dead the moment I installed the SDK and realized I had not clue what to do. I’d love to roll my own apps to use personally, and maybe convince an engineer friend to to help me clean up the code polish it up and release it as a properly made app.

  • http://Website Todd

    Please look at this with a wider view.

    Android is not just for phones!!!

    Android runs on picture frames, TVs, PVRs, home appliances, automobiles, scientific equipment, and, most importantly, industrial machinery.

    …special pointer for the millions and millions of pieces of industrial machinery world wide, the vast majority of which run on Windows CE ( ack! ) as those factories will have very specialized apps they need to run internally!

  • http://www.blog.droidweb.com Maliek

    I’m not sure how i feel about this. On one hand its great that anyone can create an app, but there is a certain level of expertise and hacking together of code and general computer science-y know-how that has to go into a quality app. Also as a developer who has been with Android since the beginning, it will be interesting to see how this affects the market and quality of apps in the market. Hopefully it also increases interest in Android as well.

  • http://Website Mary Beth – TeleNav

    It’s the same concept as the blog programs like WordPress. It will probably allow for a lot of “junk” but it will also open a lot of doors for creative people who don’t necessarily have the gift for programming. The good ones will rise to the top and you can just ignore the other.

  • http://Website Lucas

    Is it just me or anyone else see this as an prototype for a an entire Web-Based IDE tailor made for developers using the yet-to-come Chrome OS ?

  • http://Website Richard

    Maybe we can be like apple and submit our apps for approval.

    Maybe we can even get 10% of profit lol

    And people, HOW DARE YOU talk down on beginners. Thats why we have the star rating system. No one should be dumb enough to download an app if it has a one star rating.

    I think that Google is doing exactly what apple is doing with the app star, BUT BETTER!

    Hurray google!

  • http://Website Chancy

    What they should do is create a section in the Market called “Community Apps”. That way the market won’t be flooded with these kind of apps. Any apps made with this program automatically gets uploaded into this section. As users download and use apps from here, they rate them and over time, the really good apps stand out and the crap ware gets to the bottom of the barrel. That way, everyone is happy.

    • http://Website manteka

      I totally agree with this idea with a section of “Community Apps” but also allow an approval rate done by the end users. People will download, try the app and rate it. If it get high ratings then it’s worthy of being placed on the main marketplace.

    • http://Website ari-free

      There are plenty of ‘real’ apps that should also go into this section. Why should all those countless sexy pic and fartboard apps get special treatment just because they were written in java?

  • http://Website Wubet

    The Android market doesn’t fulfill all ideas we have, this app-Inventor will definately change the market place. I am not a developer, I dying to get the permit from google to try this program.

  • http://Website Bob

    VB for the web

  • http://Website William Furr

    This is partly based on Scratch, a long-running MIT project that aims to teach kids how to program. I saw a demo at the MIT Media Lab recently, and it’s really amazing. It gave me hope that some day no introductory programming student (from elementary school to college) will ever have to type “public static void main(String[] args) {}” (or equivalent) as part of their first program ever again.

    Learning the fundamentals of programming (variables, state, recursion, functions, concurrency, etc.) can and should be separated from the syntax of any particular programming language.

    Scratch is a powerful toolkit that scales really well. The visual block-building approach helps novices get started programming immediately. The MIT team has shown over the past five years that very little instruction is needed to get started with Scratch. There’s also a huge variety of in-depth and powerful applications that kids have built with Scratch. You can check some out on the Scratch site: http://scratch.mit.edu/

    I’m really excited to see this come to Android phones. While there may be a “flood” of basic apps with little functionality from novice programmers, there are already lots of apps like that. I’m sure Google is aware as any of us here than the Android Market’s success depends on being able to float the best apps to the top, whether they’re from a major developer or brand or from a kid in a living room with Scratch.

  • http://www.ongoingworlds.com Onion

    I think this is definately a good thing, and I’m not even that worried that now any moron can create their own daft game with silly sound effects, I think that popular ones will prevail and bad games will be ignored.

    What I’m worried about with this though is that because it’s a WYSIWYG editor, there’s going to be something that it can’t do. There’s only so far you can go with WYSIWYG edotors and if you want a more complicated game you’re going to eventually have to get stuck into the code.

    I think this will be fine for simple games, but I doubt we’ll get many complex ones created this way.

  • http://Website djonoboz

    why i cant run the App Inventor on my windows 7 64 bit ?
    can any one help me ?

  • http://Website wes

    why not just have a seperate market for new app developers e.g novice market and as they gain popularity,then let it onto the normal market..that way new developers can get there apps out there and earn there place in the real market..that way it keeps crap apps off the market but allows others to see what they can do..

    just a thought

  • YodaNote

    Here are native WYSIWYG Editor on Android,using native webview in Android ,standard HTML format,with JavaScript

    *Font Color & Font Size
    *Align left,center,right
    *Insert:ASCII,Emoticon,GIF image,attachment
    *Customizable Note Background Image or Color

    the link

    online video