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Google Launches Android App Inventor

by Sean P. Aune | July 12, 2010July 12, 2010 11:00 am PST

Well, sometimes serendipity comes a callin’ when you least expect it. Take for example the idea that just this morning we reported on how the Android Marketplace looks set to pass 100,000 applications this month, and now comes a story that might see that number seem like a distant memory in very short order.

It seems Google has been cooking up a program for some time now called App Inventor which it has been giving out to schools so students could work on projects.  The program has now been opened up to where anyone can apply, but it is still heavily directed towards schools as the application asks what type of school you are in, but does provide a selection for “Other”.

Essentially from watching the above demo video, App Inventor is a drag-and-drop programming environment for Android applications.  You will have the option of publishing whatever you create to the Marketplace, or you can simply build something for your own use and load it exclusively to your own phone.

app inventor

This sounds like a great plan for people who can’t find the exact thing they are looking for in the Marketplace, but it could be a horrible idea if people flood the store with cookie cutter apps.  Due to the open nature of Marketplace, it is already being overrun with some pretty weak apps, and the idea that Joe Schmo sitting in his living room could pump out five apps a day that do essentially nothing is a depressing thought to Android owners.  While selection/quantity is always nice, quality is even better.  This isn’t to say that a few people might not come up with fantastic applications, but sorting through the piles of junk apps could become a huge pain for end users.

If ever there was a time for Google to announce an easier way to search and sort the Android Marketplace, it would be now.

What say you?  Will you give App Inventor a try?

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...