Monday, July 12, 2010
Google is launching a new tool on Monday that lets anyone create an app for Android phones.
Google App Inventor claims to enable non-coders to develop complete, working Android apps by connecting a series of “blocks”. Google has been testing App Inventor in schools for a year, reports theNYTimes. At the time of writing, App Inventor is only available to those who apply via a form.
The concept is a smart one: Not only is the Android Market an open platform for developers (with no approval process, ala the App Store), but now we’ll likely see a vast array of specialized apps built by non-developers. This could radically increase the volume of apps in the Market versus the App Store.
The expansion may of course come at the cost of quality: We’ll see thousands of new Android apps, but will they be of a “cookie cutter” nature, offering very little value? There is, however, an upside in the long-term: If App Inventor is so simple that schoolchildren can make apps, some those same children will soon become coders themselves … and perhaps choose to develop Android apps rather than iPhone.
Google and Apple are currently in a heated battle to win the hearts and minds of developers. Google, it seems, wants to win over the non-developers too.
What do you think? Is App Inventor a winning play on Google’s part?