We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Google launches Google App Inventor for Android

Now anyone can develop Android apps

Google today revealed Google App Inventor - a software tool that lets just about anyone make apps for mobile phones that use its Google Android software.

The beta version of the App Inventor for Android site went live from Google Labs with a video showing how easy it is to make apps, including a number of ideas for apps people can make themselves.

"To use App Inventor, you do not need to be a developer. App Inventor requires NO programming knowledge," the website says. Software code is written by App Inventor software, while users are given options on what to include in the app.

The site offers several suggestions in app creation, including using the handset's GPS function for location, creating SMSs for friends, or building apps that link to other services, such as Twitter.

The new software tools should give Google's Android mobile software a leg up against rival smartphone software, including Apple's iPhone OS. The App Inventor site lets anyone become an app creator, giving people the power to design software specifically for their own needs. That's not so easy on the iPhone. Not only do people need software developer skills to make apps for the iPhone, but Apple vets all new applications before approving them for download.

One strength of Apple's system is that it can weed out apps with malicious code designed to steal or erase data. It's unclear what safeguards Google has in place for App Inventor.

Anyone interested in using App Inventor to start making Android apps will need a few things, including a Gmail account, a computer and an Android-based handset, according to the App Inventor site.

Google announced App Inventor nearly a year ago, saying that faculty from dozens of colleges and universities were involved.

"Mobile applications are triggering a fundamental shift in the way people experience computing and use mobile phones," wrote Hal Abelson [CQ], a professor of computing science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and leader of the Google project, in an old blog posting.

"Today, smartphones let us carry computing with us, have become central to servicing our communication and information needs, and have made the web part of all that we do."

See also:

Mobile phone reviews


IDG UK Sites

Best Black Friday 2014 tech deals: Get bargains on smartphones, tablets, laptops and more

IDG UK Sites

What the Internet of Things will look like in 2015: homes will get smarter, people might get fitter

IDG UK Sites

See how Trunk's animated ad helped Ade Edmondson plug The Car Buying Service

IDG UK Sites

Yosemite tips: Complete Guide to OS X Yosemite