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What Is App Inventor?

January 25, 2012


What is App Inventor:


1. Describe App Inventor in one sentence of your own devising.

    App Inventor is a program that enables the everyday mobile device user to create apps that is tailored to their own user preferences and that compliments their personal life.


2. What are some of the ways App Inventor is described in the above articles, e.g., "Hypercard for mobile programming"?

     It is a program that allows the user the customize their apps and software to their preferred user preferences. 


3. What are some other popular blocks languages similar to App Inventor? 

            Other popular block languages similar to App Inventor are Basic, Logo and Scratch.

4. With what programming languages is most Android software developed? What language is used for iPhone/iPad development?

            Java is the language used in most Android software.  iPhone and iPad use Object C and C++.


5. What type of market share does Android have compared with iPhone? Is Android's share growing? Here's one place to check.

            The Android has grown 379 percent in the last year.  Android and the iPhone hold two thirds of the current market.

6. In the NY Times article, Hal Abelson says that an experiment like App Inventor could only be done with Android, because it’s so "open". What does he mean? For help answering this, check out Loukides article: App Inventor and the Culture Wars.

            An experiment like App Inventor could only be done with Android because it is open and allows its users to customize their experience.  Abelson has worked to bring more open programming to the average device users.  The Android allows users to have the experience they want with their devices rather than use prepackage and preapproved programs that Apple offers that only allows for one type of experience. 


7. Clive Thompson argues that we need more programmers in his Wired article. What is his argument? Do you think its true?

            Thompson argues that if more people knew how to program then many people could help in solving some of the world’s problems.  For example, the “No Texting While Driving” app used a simple but creative way to eliminated distractions while driving a car.  Thompson says that there are many creative people out there with great and innovative ideas that are unable to put those ideas into effect because they the lacked the necessary programming skills previously required.  Now, with App Inventor, the creative ideas actually have to opportunity to be made. 

8. What are some of the cool apps that have been developed with App Inventor? Are any on the market?

             A USF student created the “No Texting While Driving App” but it is not on the market in its original form.  Also a guy created an app to propose to his girlfriend.  The girlfriend was obsessed with Happy Potter and it was around the time that a new Harry Potter movie was being released so he created a Harry Potter theme quiz.  The quiz masqueraded as a contest for premiere passes but the ending question was the proposal. 


9. What is situated software, as defined by Clay Shirky? What does he mean when he says, "all software need not scale"?

    Situated software is software that is specifically designed for a reason or situation.  For example social situations or events, not for the general population or the masses, situated software is designed for a particular group.   Shirky explains that traditionally programs have been focused on reaching a large group of people on a very general basis, a large scale.  But programs and apps don’t need to scale for the apps to be useful.  An app for a guide to designer shoe shopping might not be useful for a sports fanatic interested in finding out various stats about their favorite teams and players but since one can create an app and customize it to their own tastes for nearly no cost or manufacturing fee the app need not scale.