miércoles, 27 de febrero de 2013

App Inventor

I created the "Omnidrive" App using App Inventor

App Inventor is a programming environment that allows you to create simple Android Apps in an (quite) easy way. Again, it is ligth, (mostly web based) and it is for free. (So far, I didn't use any commercial Software to design my platform. I hope to reach my final target in this way too!)

App Inventor offers you 2 Shells: The Viewer and the Block Editor. The viewer is where you create the Screen of your App. Here you create and organize all the visual (and non visual) elements of your App.
The Block Editor allows you to code your app in a funny way: There is a "white piece of paper" where you put together a kind of puzzle pieces into blocks, each covering a different function linked with the elements you previously created.

But we aware of it: you cannot use this tool to create complex apps. It allows you to use all the nice hardware elements of your Android device (Accelerometer, Photo/Video Camara, Bluetooth, compass, your locations, the music player, etc...). As soon as you want to do something more than just start/stop something, things can go pretty messy. You reach a nice level quite fast, but then you get "glue on your shoes". Each incremental improvement costs you more and more...

In my opinion, a "block" where you could program directly in Java would be a plus.

A feature of App Inventor, and a real nice one, is the ability to use your own device for testing your App nearly in real time via Wi-Fi. You modify something in your computer and, after a few seconds, you can see / test your modified app directly in your device.

All in all, I recommend to use it as an start point to start programming Android Apps. You can even deliver them via the Google Play, as I did with mine!

Remember I publish the source code of this App here!

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