Exploring App Inventor
Update (March 3, 2012): MIT App Inventor is now BETA and public for general consumption
I have been exploring App Inventor since a month starting with writing an article for Linux Journal. During this time, App Inventor has been shut down by Google, and handed over to MIT to carry on the development of the software. This transition phase has been quite interesting personally. From just being a consumer of the service, I have had the opportunity to play around with hosting the service – i.e. running an AI service on Google App Engine, which anyone can use.
Here I shall summarize some of my own findings and the current state:
The Current State
MIT App Inventor Status Update: appinventoredu.mit.edu/developers-blo… #android
— Amit Saha (@echorand) January 21, 2012
The current state is in transit. For a more official status update, please see the above link. The summary is that the source code for the App Engine was released a day before. One of the things it allows you to do is run your App Engine service locally. Please see this link for the instructions. Note that you would need ~4G of RAM to give Java enough memory to play around. If you want to host the open source version of the service on Google App Engine, please follow my forum posting here. If you want to continue using the MIT published JAR’s for running your own App Inventor instance, please follow the link here. Basically, to host your service, there are two things you must do (detailed here)
- First, upload the App Inventor application to Google App Engine
- Setup your build server – this needs to be a publicly accessible machine. By that I mean, this IP should be visible to the world. People have used Amazon EC2. I just used a web host/domain I own personally.
Using the Service
If you just want to start using the service without going into the hassles for setting up yourself, sign up for MIT’s own testing service here. You could also send me an email or comment to be added to the whitelist of users for my own service at http://appinventordemo.appspot.com and just in case you just want to have a look at what all is you may check out the references and tutorials here at http://echorand.com/appinventor/about/.
Getting Help and Sharing your Findings
- Working with the Open Sourced App Inventor codes: Google Group – App Inventor Open Source Development
- Hosting the MIT JARS: Google Group – Google Group –mit-appinventor-jars
- Forums for Users and Educators: http://echorand.com/appinventor/forum/
- Some issue I faced while installing the generated APK’s on the Android device:
APK signing issue finally solved. JDK downgrade needed. Thread: groups.google.com/group/mit-appi… Thanks Hal #android
— Amit Saha (@echorand) January 22, 2012
- App Inventor for All Project: http://ai4a.jsoft.com/
- Resources to Learn about App Inventor: http://echorand.com/appinventor/learn/
- Once you have got a place to try out App Inventor, remember the only condition is : you agree to have fun! :-) Let us know on one of the forums or in a comment.
Just wanted to say thinks for this. I am a Microsoft stack developer that got a Kindle Fie for Christmas and only recently got Eclipse up and running and did a hello world on on my Kindle Fire.
I was introduced to Scratch by my 12 year old neice because that is what they use at school. I am interested in appinventor because I want to do a series of blog posts showing people how to program their Kindle Fires.
Needless to say if January 22nd is the day I first find out about appinventor I had some pretty bad timing, or good timing because I found this blog through the Google group posting you made.
Hello Michael. Glad to know my post helped you discover App Inventor. I hope you have fun with it.
Thank you Amit for allowing me to access the app inventor demo, and hosting a service. It was my first time to play around with app inventor, truly app inventor provides friendly user interface and I enjoyed using it. Currently I am doing a project related to android as controller. May you please include me in your whitelist to continue to learn and to test appinventor.
Hi Arthur: Glad to know that you could use the service. I hope its still working for you, if not please let me know.
Thank you Amit for your quick response. I would like to ask if you schedule your service for a downtime? Because when I was accessing the site after two hours and so the server responded that it is temporarily available. It cuts off my excitement in constructing the program :)
Hello Arthur: I think it was down only for a schedule – no it wasn’t planned by me. Please try and let me know. Cheers.
Hey Amit, currently im having an error in while opening the blocks editor. It shows Application Error, Unable to launch the application. In the details view error:System is offline and the application does not specify . I’m not sure if it was on my side of application that cause these error. Because in my previous testings I dont experience such error in opening the blocks editor. Thanks Amit
Hi Arthur: Sorry to hear that. But, I just opened the blocks editor myself and it seems to work. Not sure what is your problem – could you please retry and see?
Hello, I have tried to check my internet exporer set as work offline so I changed it to online. Right now I am trying to connect to appinventordemo.appspot.com and returned a message that the ID has not been authorize to use this service. Thank you :)
Hey. appinventordemo.appspot.com when I enter I get that I am allowed!. Why?. Worked before. Anyway, I leave my email so I authorizes. email@example.com. Thank you. It is urgent because I have a code developed important. Thank you.
Added! Please try.
Hey Amit!! Thank you in advance for putting this explanation about appinventor. Could you add me to your whitelist? I really want to explore what appinventor can do to help me with my masters project, that is a LMS application. Thank you
Sorry, my account firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey Daniel: Glad its useful to you. I have added you to the whitelist. Please give it a shot!
Hi there, I was using this before google took it down :(
Would I be able to be added to your white list please?
Hi Shaun: I have added you. Please try it out!
Thanks so much, havnig great fun with it all ready :)
my friend shaun moore told me about the app inventor , after hearing how great it is i was wondering if i could get added to your white list . it would be great .
i am email@example.com
Hello Darren. I would need your Google/GMail address for this. Please let me know.
Hi Amit , my Gmail is
thanks in advance :)
Hi Darren. I have added you. have fun!
thank you my friend , i will get busy in a couple of hours , as i have a couple of things to do , but i cant wait :) i will let you know how i get on :0 thanks again
Hi Amit , I have been receiving the message ” The server is temporarily unavailable. Please try later. ” . Is this just me or are there more that are experiencing the same ? I’m hoping this is temporary cos i was really enjoying using the App Inventor , thanks for hosting so far though :)
I hope its back up now?
I am definitely interested in the AppInventor Demo that you’ve set up – What can I do to get access? Thanks.
Hello Ben: I have added you tot he white list. Kindly give it a shot! Hope it works for you.
Hey, i realize this thread is a little older now, but i was hoping i could be added to the whitelist just to play around with it fotr school work. Tjsoccerxii@aim.com
Hello Taylor: You may now use MIT’s own service: http://appinventor.mit.edu/
Thank you very much, expecially for the hastey response