Sunday, January 25, 2015

Program your Android Device

The thing I lack most is time. And that was proven again today. I just stumbled upon a great program called Mit Appinventor. In short it is a programming language made for making APPS for Android which works the same as Scratch. For those illiterate amongst you: Scratch is a very simple programming environment under Linux mostly used for education purposes with a Raspberry.
Well guess what there is indeed a Raspberry version of Appinventor.

App Inventor works with program blocks. It is a bit like the old Apple programming environment Hypercard worked. You draw a screen. Add all kinds of things to it like buttons, pictures, text fields etc. And then you add bits and pieces of code to each of the things you put on the screen.

A program block looks like this:

I think that anybody with a bit of programming experience can easliy understand what this block does. And that's what makes it interesting.

Appinventor uses several methods to test your code. First it has a build in Android emulator. And second you can connect your android device to the computer using Wifi or an USB connection. If you connect both you can directly see on the screen of your tablet or phone how your APP is going to look. Next you can save the source code and you can make a stand alone APK file that works on all Android devices (not just yours) so you can upload it if you wish to the Google Play sore.

So today I made my first APP and boy it was fun. It took a bit time to get accustomed to the interface and possibillities but less time as I expected.   Below you can see my about screen which has the same ugly face on it as this blog.

If you want to start programming your own Android apps just click on the logo on the top of this page or this link:

Oh and best of all: its free.