DML 2012

MTR: Teaching with App Inventor

Setup instructions

This workshop will be fun and informative even if you’re just watching. However, we encourage everyone to join a group and build an app! These notes are at:

1. Please join a group of two to four people, preferably one with:
  • an Android device (App Inventor doesn’t work with other phones/tablets)
  • a laptop (Mac sets up easiest)
  • We have a limited number of phones for checkout, first-come-first-serve
2. Connect your phone to WIFI (you may also use your cellular connection if you have one)
  • Click the home button on phone to get to home screen
  • Click the menu button and choose Settings
  • Choose Wireless & networks and then Wi-Fi settings. The presenters will have the Wifi name and password at the front. Choose it.
  • Open the browser on the phone to make sure you’re connected.
3. Sync your Google account (if you are using your own phone, you’ve already done this)
  • Open the Android market app. if its not on the home page, drag your finger on the all apps widget to see all apps, and scroll to find the Market.
  • If you haven't logged in, you'll be prompted to enter your Google user name and password. Use the same gmail account you'll be using to build apps.
  • If you login successfully, you should be able to open the Android market.
4. Download the ZXing QR code scanner app.
  • In the app market app, search for 'zxing' or 'barcode scanner', then download the app. You'll use this app to scan other apps, like the ones you build today, into your phone. You can also use it to get info on books and other products.
5. Setup your phone for app building. You need to set a few settings on your phone to build and install apps. Do the following:
  • Choose Settings | Applications, and check the box labeled something like: "Unknown Sources"
  • From the Applications screen, choose Development and then check "USB Debugging" and "Stay Awake".
  • When the workshop is over, you may want to change these back.
6. Setup your computer
  • Open App Inventor by going to, then clicking “Use MIT App Inventor”
  • Log in with your google account.
  • Choose “Learn” in the menu, then “Setup”. This will step you through downloading some software for your computer. Note: you can get by without the download, but App Inventor works better with it.
  • Note that you need Java  on your computer to get the App Inventor "Blocks Editor" to appear. Most computers have Java by default. But if you have trouble opening the blocks editor you may need to download Java (see the setup at Learn | Setup)