Android App Inventor Open Source by Google and MIT is Here

by: Christine TorralbaJanuary 24, 2012
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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) partnered with software developer Google to create an open source App Inventor for Android software toolset. While the project initially started as a way to produce a modular, easy to use integrated development environment for producing Android apps, it is now ready for release.

However, developers from the MIT App Inventor site are currently not accepting contributions to the released code.  Fortunately, this will change in the coming weeks.

According to the MIT team, the reason for limiting this is to ‘hope to nurture a robust and active open source project […] but for now we don’t want to distract the MIT developers from their efforts to complete and deploy the large-scale public server. In the meantime, we’ll update the code periodically to match what’s running at the latest MIT experimental system.’

In line with Google’s recent service cull, the App Inventor service has already been shut down. However, the MIT team has restored its plans to hone the service and the application. By opting to turn the code into an open source, other people can use the App Inventor name and logo. This is why the MIT team provided just enough room for others to take advantage of the foundation work between the two names.

For anyone who wants to develop Android apps, MIT’s App Inventor for Android is the best way to do it without programming knowledge. Because it already has a web-based interface for app design, users do not need to go into Java programming specifics with the software development kit. This will influence other educational institutions to use the open source as a way to build Android applications. In turn, this will get more students interested in Android applications development.

  • alexandra murashova

    Mobile apps are hot today. But hiring a developer is too expensive. I used to make apps. It’s really easy, the web service allows to make mobile apps in minutes, and without programming skills at all.

    • BuzzSaw

      NICE PIMPING JOB for a $299. APP that the Google / MIT App Inventor DOES FOR FREE!

      Don’t bother going to “snappil” people, nothing to see if you want to save $300!!

  • Androido

    Agreed BuzzSaw! There are so many of those app building services now. Free for this, free for that, then BAM! $500 to submit to the Android Market. I’ll keep using App Inventor for free.

    I did happen upon a course that teaches App Inventor the other day. Maybe this is a better alternative for people or businesses that want to create their own apps. It looks like the courses aren’t open yet (I’m sure due to the fact that App Inventor is not publicly available right now), here here it is if anyone wants to check it out.

  • Agus

    I hope this gains some acceptance among the public.
    There are a lot of people out there with great ideas and concepts who don’t really know much about programming languages and IDEs. Even if it’s basic, this would be a great tool for them to at least learn the thought process behind basic coding, as well as an avenue for them to hook up with programmers and create apps together.

  • Andrea Bledsoe

    I’m in need of reviewers for a new book Android Apps with App Inventor from Addison-Wesley. If you’re interested in reviewing the book send me an email Thanks!

    • Stevie Viaene

      I am a retired computer science teacher who now is working with a non-profit that puts on teacher training workshops related to getting k-12 students excited about computer science and technology. I would love to be a reviewer for your book on App Inventor.

  • Metronic

    That sounds quite interesting. Thanks a lot :)