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Android App Inventor Open Source by Google and MIT is Here

January 24, 2012

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.