With the influx of consumers, who have recently begun to use smart phones, the need for creative and quality apps has been steadily rising. As such, Google’s Android mobile operating software is passing through its stages of infancy but Google’s open market sharing policies have gone a long way to create a potentially loyal fan base for Android. In an effort to further simplify the usage of phones powered by Android, Google has recently launched a new web-based Android applications creation and development tool called the Apps Inventor beta. This was aimed at allowing consumers to become creators of apps that simplify their own lives as well as bring a new wave of applications to the Android mobile platform. The idea behind the development of this application is the assumption that only a user can effectively gauge his/her needs and thereby, create applications that fulfill their personal purposes.

Apps Inventor beta

Lines of code made the use of professional programmers imminent. The new Apps Inventor beta makes the use of code quasi-redundant. By using a visual programming approach, Android provides the basic building blocks for the creation of applications. Users with little or no programming knowledge can now visually connect these building components and create applications as per their desires. This creator also allows one to use hardware elements that are intrinsically a part of the phones build-up like the GPS system application. While it is possible to create fairly sophisticated applications using the beta creator, it needs to be understood that it is not necessarily something you will be adept at immediately.

Learning is Inevitable

While using the Android Apps Inventor, you need not necessarily have any programming expertise to bring to the table but, as I learnt, it is imperative to run through the data provided with the project. Learning the way to use this creator is a step you cannot afford to miss. In essence, a few readings are required to get the hang of it but you will not take years to be proficient with it!

I found it relatively simple to create applications that would, for example, during working hours, automatically forward messages stating my unavailability due to attending a meeting. Creating a custom tour app for my workplace was also a cinch. Though a varied number of components are offered by the Android Apps Inventor, do keep an eye out for the Component Developer kit, due to be released soon, which allows you access to many more components and would increase the functionality of the Apps Inventor greatly.

Personally, I am of the opinion that the Apps Inventor will most likely be a great initiative amongst students for its sheer usability and will quite comfortably give a substantial boost to the Android market share.  This inventor also contains components that allow you to create applications that quite literally talk to the web! This particular function has a great many possibilities but unfortunately needs a prior knowledge of programming or at least some help from a programmer to get it set up on your phone.