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Google App Inventor Beta for Android

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Core information:

Google’s Do-It-Yourself App Creation Software [The New York Times, July 11]

… has been under development for a year. User testing has been done mainly in schools with groups that included sixth graders, high school girls, nursing students and university undergraduates who are not computer science majors.

… The Google application tool for Android enables people to drag and drop blocks of code — shown as graphic images and representing different smartphone capabilities— and put them together, similar to snapping together Lego blocks. The result is an application on that person’s smartphone.

App Inventor for Android [Google Blog, July 12]
About App Inventor
App Inventor research project launch [Google Research Blog, July 31, 2009]

Android App Inventor lets you be the developer (video) [Engadget, July 12]

Google is following in Nokia’s footsteps today by offering its users a simple-to-use DIY app maker. Employing a design scheme that relies on visual blocks rather than oodles of arcane code, the App Inventor — still in Beta, of course — has functions for “just about anything” you can do with an Android handset, including access to GPS and phone functionality.

Is Google App Inventor A Gateway Drug Or A Doomsday Device For Android? [TechCrunch, July 11]

Because this new tool makes it easy for anyone to make their own apps, it makes the idea of trying to create your own app a much less daunting one. And that’s the powerful thing here. If this tool can get some kid to start messing around with app creation, maybe they’ll get more interested and start learning actual Java. And then maybe one day they’ll create the next killer app.

… they [Google] have to hope it doesn’t backfire and simply flood the Android Market with more junk apps than already exist. Google already has a problem with surfacing good apps in their market—interesting, given that they are the ones that surface good webpages as mentioned earlier—the problem could get worse if this tool is a success.

Still, I’m going to be cautiously optimistic that this tool is a good thing. Potentially a very good thing. And it’s something Apple should be taking very seriously.

Personal note: One thing is clear, there is a significantly increased momentum for Google Android as has been well indicated by my previous 4 infonuggets:

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