Google Developers Group
The Chicago Chapter of the ACM is presenting a talk on "Hands-On Creation of Android Apps for Novices using App Inventor" on Wednesday, September 19, 5:30 pm at
Loyola University Water Tower Campus (Chicago/Michigan Area)
Corboy Law Center (CLC) Room 0211
25 E. Pearson, Chicago IL 60611
Although the presentation title says "for novices", many of the attendees will be computer professionals, and the presentation will probably be useful for experienced Android developers.
Further information is available at http://www.chicagoacm.org/
The presenters provided assistance to attendees and stepped through the process of installing App Inventor and developing a simple application. There were the typical technical glitches, but the presentation went well overall.
App Inventor is an open source visual layout and programming environment that contains two modules: a web-based screen layout application similar to Visual Basic and a code blocks editor with a user interface that resembles a jigsaw puzzle. The screen layout interface should be usable by anyone who has used Visual Basic or a similar system. The blocks editor provides interface method call templates, program logic and math expressions, and variables as puzzle-piece-shaped blocks that that fit together to build procedures. When an app is finished, it can be built into an Android APK and tested on an android device or an emulator.
The application code can be saved and loaded under another name, but "real" source code is not available, so the app can not be modified by Eclipse or other Android development environments. The screen design module does not allow precise positioning of components directly on the screen, but horizontal arrangement, vertical arrangement, and table arrangements objects can be placed on the screen to line up components. App Inventor requires the Java 6 or later run-time environment.