I’ve learned to make an Android App

Yes, I’ve learned to make a Google Android App, using the Googlelabs App Inventor (beta)….

I’ve made my very first app for my Android phone! It’s not an all-singing, all-dancing program, but it’s an app, all the same. Why make an app? I’ve always wondered how to make an Android application for a while, and also wanted a way of making our College library induction leaflet available to more students, and making it instantly available and updatable. I recently found a couple of websites that you can pay to have an app developed for you, or make an app from an RSS feed fro free, but I wanted one where I could add content myself. I came across App Inventor for Android (beta), which is one of the gadgets on Google Labs. It looked just the thing I needed to make my own app.

The blurb on the website says:

Creating an App Inventor app begins in your browser, where you design how the app will look. Then, like fitting together puzzle pieces, you set your app’s behavior. All the while, through a live connection between your computer and your phone, your app appears on your phone

Android App Inventor Blocks Editor

(screenshot of the Blocks Editor)

The basic app that I made uses text-based lists and a basic navigation system to provide the content, and it’s even got a button that lets you dial the library’s phone number! I’ve so far added things like opening times and how many books you can borrow, but it’s a start. The App Inventor lets you add all sorts of complex programming, using drag and drop blocks that interlink, and updates the output via either an online phone emulator, or your own phone linked to the computer. It’s a great little program, and it’s got enough scope and complexity for me to add links to (and play) online induction videos, external content, and send updates to users’ phones, all using the same application.

One shortcoming of the Google Android App Inventor, is that you can’t, at the moment, add your self-made app to the Android market. You can, however, download it and share it with your friends and students.

Picture of Library App

(screenshot of the completed app).

This post was first made by me on Posterous.

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