Google is opening up Android development to the masses with App Inventor for
Android, a new development environment beta program that does not require
coding or knowledge of development languages.
Google introduced the tool at the App Inventor for Android site,
which includes a video demonstration, tutorials and a way for users to sign up
to become part of the developer program.
Non-programmers can develop their own Android apps by putting together
components of functionality.
While many view Android-based smartphones as consumer devices, Cisco
recently gave the Android operating system a vote of confidence for business
and enterprise environments by announcing that it will offer its Cisco
Cius tablet computer running Android, not Windows 7 or another OS.
App Inventor for Android could potentially enable workgroups within
businesses to create their own apps.
Google posted examples
of initial apps built using the environment, most created by University
of San Francisco students. Samples
included an app to help people remember where they parked their cars and an app
that provides a schedule for the San Francisco
public transit system.
In the sample section, Google also lists the components used to create each
particular app. For example, the ParkIt App uses Button, HorizontalArrangement,
Label, TinyWebDB, ActivityStarter and LocationSensor.
The move by Google to open up Android App development to the masses is
something that could pose a greater competitive challenge to Apple’s iPhone,
HP’s WebOS and eventually Microsoft Phone 7. But early criticism of the move by
Google noted that as development is opened to everyone, chances are that the
Android App market will be flooded by many junk applications.
Those who want to participate in the beta program of App Inventor for
Android must sign up with Google at the App Inventor