I use Google. A lot. Like dozens of times a day. For lots of stuff. Random, crazy stuff. Stuff that I’m curious about. Stuff that the kids are curious about. I Google from my laptop, the desktop, the tablet, and my phone. I figured it would be an interesting experiment if, every time I Googled something that resulted in a noteworthy answer, that I’d blog about it. Heck, maybe it’ll get me back into blogging about anything. So here goes.
Why I Googled it: This morning, a conversation between my wife and I resulted in a great idea for an Android app (not sharing the particulars in case I actually want to follow through with it). After several searches in both the Apple market and the Android app store as well as multiple Google searches on the web, I am relatively convinced such an app doesn’t exist. I’ve always been curious about what it takes to build an Android app and I thought this would be a good excuse to gain new skills in that area. While I have some familiarity with programming languages, it’s not very deep, so programming an app from scratch isn’t really an option at this point.
What I found out: I remembered hearing awhile back about an app builder that Google itself released. So I was hoping that my search would help me find that. It did…and yet didn’t. Apparently, the Google App Inventor (as it was actually named) is no longer supported by Google, but is instead being supported by MIT. But unfortunately, they are revamping the app – still named App Inventor and haven’t yet released a public version. If you’d like to learn more about that project, read the website.
I also found other sites – free and paid – that offer similar services. The most promising of these seem to be Andromo and appsbar. That is, both websites are written in clear English and with a nice aesthetic. I have no idea if they can actually deliver on their promises. 😉 Apps Maker for Android offers some handy templates, but none fit the idea I have, so I’m not going to try that one.
The takeaway: I’m curious to see if either of the alternate services I found can actually help me create a working Android app. I’m also keeping tabs on the MIT App Inventor since I’d like to try that one, too. If you’ve had experience with these or any other app builders, please let me know in the comments. If you have suggestions for better ways of diving into Android app development, I’d like to hear that, too.