Just when you think it was going to be a quiet morning, Google decides to unleash potentially its most disruptive bit of tech to the market. From what appears to be a leak, Google looks set to be doing to mobile apps what html did for the web and allowing anyone to rollout their own mobile apps for android.
Google App Inventor is a web app that allows the user to build hitherto fairly complex functionality into their apps very quickly using a simple drag and drop interface, much like a set of lego bricks. Through dragging blocks onto the main central screen, developers are able to add everything from a database to animation or even potentially access sensors like the gravity alignment sensor or integrate with social networks like Facebook. Here is a promo video giving and idea of how it works:
Based around a similar premise to the MIT’s Scratch Programming language which is currently still banned for use on the Iphone. It has been making its way around schools under the guise of Android Bricks. Clearly Google appear to be readying the app to take it mainstream. The product has been around since at least July 2009 where it was showcased in a Google Faculty Summit ( original video here) . To date ( 12.7.2010) it doesn’t appear to be live as yet, as it it is still not listed on the Google labs Android page and as yet and the introductory video above is still marked as unlisted. The app Inventor Google Group, does appear to be open for business. It is now listed on the Google Android blog and on the Google code blog
If you would like to join the program it has already started taking sign ups- (join here: App Inventor for Android, ) however you will not as yet receive an email confirmation.
The question is will this potentially game changing technology, be the the thing that pushes up the number of apps past the 100k mark or will it turn the Android market into a plethora of soundboards, RSS readers and hello world apps?