Google is in serious “conflict of interest” with Apple, trying to gain support and win loyal customers for their operational system for mobile devices – the Android. With the early start for Apple and iOS it seemed this will not happen the easy way. The Apple App Store has tens of thousands of Apps already, so Google had to create something quite like it to have any chance of success.
With the launch of their variant of app store – Google Marketplace, many users began writing all types of applications, intended to be used on Android. They used a wide variety of programming aids , on different platforms, and though most functions and GUI elements are standard, some differ. Moreover some of the Apps behave different, giving a bad taste of “inconsistency” while using the device.
In order to streamline consistencies, Google had recently announced the release of new application for Android. It can be used to create applications for the Android on your PC, using relatively simple GUI (graphical user interface). Such applications are usually called SDK, or software development kits, as they are usually a bunch of tools, emulators, libraries, etc. This is not exactly the case with App Inventor, but we will get back to that later.
You can also import your own data to be used (as multimedia content – texts, music, video files, pictures) and also import databases and other standard file formats. With such options you can fairly easily create a fully customized App of your own, and achieve your own specialized needs.
Why is it not perfect?
App Inventor is great for fast, simple programming, to make just simple everyday apps, or to have little fun with your android device. For some tasks it may be appropriate for professional use – as for some proof of concept app creation. Or for quick test of the idea you just had.
But it certainly lacks the complexity of fully grown software development kits, used by the professionals. It lacks full C++ or Visual Basic, or other high level programming languages, which will allow you to build really complicated applications. It also lacks support on more advanced system programming, which could give it options to gain access to the hardware included in the device, meaning you can not have the full control overt the device functions given by the professional tools.
It is no means bad application – if you want to build simple calendar app for example, and is great step towards creating universal standardized SDK for Android, but if programming is your full time job – you should keep on searching for appropriate toolkit for you, as this is not it. On the other hand, you should install it and check the end result writing simple program, as most probably some of the ideas integrated in it will resurface in other Google instruments, which will be created from now on if the intend to keep the fast development speed of the new, but already very successful Android.