February 25, 2021
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App Inventor - Android Programming IDE Overview

  • By Cynthia Harvey
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See our complete list of Top Android Programming Integrated Development Environments.

App InventorOriginally created by Google, App Inventor is now maintained by MIT. Unlike most of the IDEs on this list, the App Inventor aims at helping students and other new developers create their first Android apps. It works right in the browser, so users don't have to download anything (although the source code is also available). It boasts more than 6.8 million users from more than 195 countries, and they have used the tool to create more than 24 million apps.

Developer/Owner: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Key features:

  • Browser-based development
  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Tutorials for new users
  • Tools for packaging and sharing apps
  • Optional emulator
  • Resources for educators

Programming languages supported: Kawa, which compiles to Java (graphical interface, no coding required)

Target operating systems: Android

Runs on:Windows, Linux, macOS

System Requirements:

  • Windows XP or higher, macOS 10.5 or higher, Ubuntu 8 or higher, or Debian 5 or higher
  • Mozilla Firefox 3.6 or higher, Apple Safari 5.0 or higher, or Google Chrome 4.0 or higher
  • If you are not using the on-screen emulator, you will need a mobile device running Android 2.3 or higher
  • A Google account (such as Gmail)

Target audience: Students and amateur developers

First production release: 2010

Most recent update/stable release: Version nb162 (August 2017)

License: MIT License

Price: Free

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Have you used App Inventor? Share your favorite feature in the comments below!

This article was originally published on September 15, 2017

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