I discovered App Inventor just as Google was handing AI classic off to MIT. At the time I was looking at different kinds of development tools for mobile devices, and App Inventor showed up in some online searches.
I took a look at it and found it intriguing – at the time, AI classic did not seem quite capable of doing the things I was likely to need, but I intended to keep an eye on it.
A few months later, I was asked if we could quickly train some high school students to write Android apps? I have been a volunteer engineering mentor with FIRST Robotics programs for eight years. The new high school team where I was volunteering had intriguing ideas for mobile apps. When I was asked about the feasibility of quickly building some Android apps, I immediately proposed MIT App Inventor!
Our first student was so enthralled he literally stayed up half the night teaching himself App Inventor and soon was writing bundles of code for our Android tablet applications. Eventually another student joined the effort (from an iPhone background!) and rapidly came up to speed, writing a neat app in App Inventor.
The Appril release of Quirky Linux includes the Android SDK (Software Development Kit), Android Studio, App Inventor, Oracle JDK (Java Development Kit), and LiveCode tools, as well as all of their dependencies, together with the JWM (Joe’s Window Manager) and ROX, providing one of the lightest environments for Android app developers.
“The intention is to have out-of-the-box, just-click-and-get-going Android app development, catering for total non-programmers with App Inventor, through intermediate with LiveCode, to hard-core coders with Android Studio,” says Barry Kauler, Puppy Linux creator.
Version 2.0 of my Photo Guide app for Android is now available – it is free, no ads either. No special permissions are required to install. Only works on Android 5 or newer.
Works on Android 4.4 and newer.
(Update: An updated version for 4.4 will be available in the store in about 1-2 days – its been uploaded and is awaiting Google processing. In the mean time, the version in the store works on Android 5.x).
Screen shot:Click on the icon to go direct to the Google Play store and request a download:
This app was originally written using the Eclipse software development system, and the PhoneGap and JQuery Mobile libraries. The new version was converted to use Cordova (similar to PhoneGap) and the project was transferred to the new Android Studio for compilation and testing. This app was NOT written using MIT App Inventor.
I posted the following on my App Inventor Facebook page – only a fraction of readers use the FB page so I am cross posting back over this blog. Usually I post items on the blog first, and then those end up on FB.
If you would like to follow the Facebook page, click here and then click on Like and also select “Get Notifications”.
Google will end support for Android Software development using the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment as they migrate development over to Google’s own Android Studio.
Eclipse and Android Studio are used for developing Android apps written in the Java programming language, and relying on the Android Software Development Kit of libraries of code. These tools are used to develop most Android apps as they are capable of using all of the features provided by Android, while MIT App Inventor limits us to a subset.
I just spent several days getting Android Studio up and running and reconfiguring an old project so that it now builds entirely in Android Studio. That Eclipse will be going away was sort of obvious.
I have completed all of the text for my next App Inventor e-book. However, once I finished, I decided to add even more! I am hard at work on one more chapter! I think a lot of people are going to love Volume 3 and I cannot wait to share it with you! However, its the middle of summer and my wife would like us to take an actual vacation so I need to work hard on my vacation skills for a few days before I can wrap up the book!
I hope to share a lot more with you in very early August.
The app was created by student members of the Glencoe High School FIRST Robotics Team #4488 “Shockwave” and was developed using MIT App Inventor. The Android game is inspired by the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition game called “Recycle Rush”. In the game, robots must stack a variety of container “totes” and a trash can on top and relocate the containers to a recycle zone on the playing field. Students design, build and test their robots – weighing up to about 120 pounds or 55 kilograms – these are large, complex pieces of mechanics, controlled by an advanced system controller, with control software also written by the student team. To learn more about FIRST Robotics, visit the web site at http://usfirst.org
I am one of many volunteer engineering mentors to the Shockwave Team. This year, I was mentor for the applications software team, that has developed a number of Android apps (the game is the only one publicly available), an Excel spreadsheet (written in VBA) to analyze data and develop optimal strategies, plus another app written in Python to process text comments about other robotics teams.
The team’s Android apps are written using MIT App Inventor.
I previously posted a short tutorial on writing to and reading from text files stored on an Android device, using an App Inventor app.
Unfortunately, as some comments noted, the file being created seems to disappear – the data is written and can be read back – but the file is no where to be found on the phone!
After some research, I now know where the file is – and also how to copy the file from the phone (or tablet) to your personal computer. While the solution to finding and saving the file to your computer is ultimately easy, I need to update the tutorial and explain some things about the Android file system. You will also need to install a free app on your phone in order to copy the file to your computer.
I have posted an updated tutorial that explains the details and shows how to store your files in the right location, how to find them (they are hidden from most views), and how to copy them to your personal computer.