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CODING: Google Labs releases App Inventor for Android
Posted by Arne Hess - on Monday, 12.07.10 - 12:26:46 CET under 04 - Android News - Viewed 10717x
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Google has just released App Inventor for Android, an online tool which allows users to build just any app you can imagine. App Inventor isn't just limited to simple games but it also allows to build apps that inform and educate. Nevertheless, the most important point is that to use App Inventor, users don't have to be a developer since App Inventor requires no programming knowledge at all. This is because instead of writing code, users can visually design the way the app looks and use blocks to specify the app's behavior. Google's App Inventor team has created blocks for just about everything which can be done with an Android phone, as well as blocks for doing "programming-like" stuff.

There are blocks to store information, blocks for repeating actions and blocks to perform actions under certain conditions. There are even blocks to talk to services like Twitter.

The blocks editor uses the Open Blocks Java library for creating visual blocks programming languages. Open Blocks is distributed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Scheller Teacher Education Program and derives from thesis research by Ricarose Roque. The compiler that translates the visual blocks language for implementation on Android uses the Kawa Language Framework and Kawa's dialect of the Scheme programming language, developed by Per Bothner and distributed as part of the Gnu Operating System by the Free Software Foundation.

The educational perspective that motivates App Inventor holds that programming can be a vehicle for engaging powerful ideas through active learning. As such, it is part of an ongoing movement in computers and education that began with the work of Seymour Papert and the MIT Logo Group in the 1960s.

Cheers ~ Arne

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