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What is Android App Inventor?

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

 App Inventor is a web-based Google software tool that enables people without any computer writing experience (non-developers) to write apps for Android smartphones.

2. What are some of the ways App Inventor is described in the above articles:

“The goal is to enable people to become creators, not just consumers, in this mobile world,” from Google's Do-It-Yourself App Tool -

 "It's computing that enables people to be creative, not just passive consumers," from App Inventor and the culture wars - O'Reilly Radar 

Harold Abelson, “These aren’t the slickest applications in the world… but they are ones ordinary people can make, often in a matter of minutes.”

"It’s time for computer programming to be democratized," from Clive Thompson on Coding for the Masses

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

Some popular blocks languages similar to App Inventor are Visual Basic, Basic logo and Scratch 

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

Program languages most used in Android software development are Java and Python. Objective-C is used for iPhone/iPad development. 

5. What type of market share does Android have compared with iPhone? Is Android's share growing?

According to The Canalys Report, Android as of Auguest 3, 2011 holds 48% of global market share in comparison to iOS, iPhone, which has 19%. According to, Android's share is growing, and is predicted to hit 50 % around 2015. 

6. In the NY Times article, Hal Abelson says that an experiment like App Inventor could only be done with Android, because 

its so "open". What does he mean? For help answering this, check out Loukides article: App Inventor and the Culture Wars.

Hal Abelson says that an experiment like App Inventor could be only done with Android because an Android smartphone is like a computer; people can tinker with it as easily as a computer and make the experience their own. In addition, Google enables all Android apps to be found by the public. In comparison, iPhone Apps do not enable the user to create and customize their app, instead the program developers do. As well, Apple limits the apps that are released. If Apple believes the app is poor quality and won't be used then they do not show it. 

What is his argument? Do you think its true?

Thompson argues for more people to learn how to program and have more control over their computer experience. Thompson brings up a good point that technology affects us everywhere. However, he notes programming is "inherently hard." I believe all of this is true, because I have used a computer since I was a kid and I have never had the control over what the program does. I follow, instead of lead. I agree with Thompson because to learn how to program would enable me to fix minor problems that I encounter on an everyday basis.

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

I don't have an Android, nor have I used the apps but I like Pandora, and Facebook and both I have been told are good apps.

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

Clay Shirky defines situated software as software that is designed to pay attention to “a particular social situation or context,” a specific group, as opposed to “scalability, generality, and completeness,” for a generic set of users. When he says, “all software need not scale,” he means that software does not have to have as many constraints on coding. With the additional component situated software encompasses, small pieces category, it makes it easier for software programmers to focus more on characteristics instead of worrying about scalability.