These instructions are for experienced programmers. Some of the instructions are specific for use in the USF labs.
1. Open a browser and navigate to http://appinventorusf.appspot.com. If you're on a USF lab computer, jump to step 3.
2. If you're on your own computer, you need to install one piece of software for App Inventor to work fully. Go to: http://appinventorusf.appspot.com/learn/setup/index.html#setupComputer and follow the instructions. The key is to download the App Inventor software found there and make sure Java is running on your computer. You should already have your phone setup to work.
3. Back within App Inventor (http://appinventorusf.appspot.com), create a new project and click on Open the Blocks Editor. The blocks editor needs to run as a Java applet. If you're on a USF lab computer, you want to run it with javaws. You should be able to find javaws in /usr/bin. Be aware that the blocks editor takes up to 30 seconds to load.
4. You can test apps either with the emulator or by plugging in your phone. You can start an emulator by choosing "run emulator" in the blocks editor. You can also connect to either for "live testing" by choosing Connect Device in the blocks editor. Note that in either case, changes you make in the GUI builder or editor are immediately manifested in the test environment.
When you "live test", the app is not really installed on the device. To get an APK for an app, choose one of the operations under Package For Phone.
5. Get started by building the MoleMash app which is chapter 4 in the App Inventor book (the book can be found at Safari). You'll need to be logged in on your USF user account to get to Safari. If you have problems, click on Learn | Tutorials at the app inventor site and you'll find earlier versions of the tutorials.