Appy Builder is an independent and enhanced version of MIT App Inventor that builds upon App Inventor by adding many new features.
For the most part, Appy Builder’s interface is nearly the same as that of MIT App Inventor. If you have been programming apps with App Inventor, switching over to Appy Builder is very easy.
Appy Builder is built upon the App Inventor base but expands by adding new features and components:
Appy Builder adds components that enable you to earn money with your apps by adding paid advertising within your apps or by offering items for sale from within your apps
Appy Builder adds enhanced data storage features including SQL Lite
Access to more “sensor” controls on your Android device, including Battery Status information. Access to some WiFi connection information (Is WiFi currently connected?)
More components and properties (the User Interface Palette in Appy Builder has 22 components while MIT App Inventor has 14)
Many components have more features. For example, a Label in MIT App Inventor has six properties but in Appy Builder, a Label has 16 properties that you can set.
Improved Google Mapping capabilities.
You can control the use of the camera flash in Appy Builder but not in MIT App Inventor.
Appy Builder has an online forum for asking questions, answering others’ questions
The above is only a general summary to give you an idea of the enhancements available at Appy Builder.
MIT App Inventor showed the world that programming can be made easier by using a graphical user interface programming model. Further, App Inventor demonstrated that remarkably powerful apps can be created using this simplified approach to programming.
Appy Builder takes the App Inventor ease of use model and extends that to add more capabilities. Clearly, drag and drop programming makes programming accessible to more people. Appy Builder is an important contribution to the continually improving and evolving world of app development.
And sign in for a free account or a paid account. Paid accounts offer more features and capabilities.
Try it out! In addition to the generic “Free” account, you can also get 30 days free access to their Gold account to learn about their more advanced features and decide if those features are right for you.
I will be publishing tutorials on some Appy Builder features – I know that many readers are already looking for solutions that are provided by Appy Builder.
If you have used MIT App Inventor (and of course you have!), you can quickly adapt to using Blockly for programming. Blockly is basically a “Drag and Drop” code editor (like in App Inventor), providing a visual programming system. It uses the same ideas as MIT App Inventor.
To see it in operation, visit MIT’s Scratch project to create a simple program.
I’ve been busy with other projects, traveling for work, and other tasks, that have cut into my App Inventor posts. Sorry about that!
One task I have been busy with is a project from AV8 Designer LLC to create an aircraft wing tip protection system. The system places proximity sensors on the tips of aircraft wings to detect – and help prevent – collisions with obstacles during aircraft ground movement operations. Aircraft are pushed and pulled around on the ground during all times of the day and night, and during all types of weather. They are frequently squeezed into aircraft hangers and parked extremely close to other aircraft. Unfortunately, this leads to occasional wing tip collisions that are expensive to repair.
The wing tip sensors provide audio and visual alerts of potential collisions and status (with audio and visual display) on Android tablets or smart phones carried by ground crew. The Android app is simple to use but incorporates complex programming to wirelessly communicate with all wing tip sensors. The app and the wireless communication links were implemented using App Inventor, rather than the Android Java SDK.
We took a risk in choosing to use App Inventor. While preliminary experiments were done to verify the concept, we did not know if we could develop the full application in App Inventor. Well, we took the risk and everything worked out great. Using App Inventor we were able to quickly develop – and demonstrate – the user interface and functionality. In doing this project, we proved App Inventor is capable of creating powerful and complex industrial applications. App Inventor can do much more than only educational and gaming applications!
The Appril release of Quirky Linux includes the Android SDK (Software Development Kit), Android Studio, App Inventor, Oracle JDK (Java Development Kit), and LiveCode tools, as well as all of their dependencies, together with the JWM (Joe’s Window Manager) and ROX, providing one of the lightest environments for Android app developers.
“The intention is to have out-of-the-box, just-click-and-get-going Android app development, catering for total non-programmers with App Inventor, through intermediate with LiveCode, to hard-core coders with Android Studio,” says Barry Kauler, Puppy Linux creator.
I have finished writing App Inventor 2: Databases and Files, a new e-book providing step-by-step guides to using TinyDB, TinyWebDB, Fusion Tables and Data Files in Android App Inventor programs, including sharing data with spreadsheets.
Version 2.0 of my Photo Guide app for Android is now available – it is free, no ads either. No special permissions are required to install. Only works on Android 5 or newer.
Works on Android 4.4 and newer.
(Update: An updated version for 4.4 will be available in the store in about 1-2 days – its been uploaded and is awaiting Google processing. In the mean time, the version in the store works on Android 5.x).
Screen shot:Click on the icon to go direct to the Google Play store and request a download:
This app was originally written using the Eclipse software development system, and the PhoneGap and JQuery Mobile libraries. The new version was converted to use Cordova (similar to PhoneGap) and the project was transferred to the new Android Studio for compilation and testing. This app was NOT written using MIT App Inventor.
MIT App Inventor 2 is a fast and simple way to create custom Android apps for smart phones or tablets. Volume 2 in the series introduces debugging methods, explains additional controls not covered in Volume 1, introduces “agile” methods for developing a real world app, and provides sample code for using the TinyDB database.
The App Inventor 2 Tutorial series is targeted at adult learners (high school and up). App Inventor 2 provides a simplified “drag and drop” interface to layout your app’s screen design. Then implement the app’s behavior with “drag and drop” programming blocks to quickly assemble a program in a graphical interface.
Volume 1 of this series covered the basics of the App Inventor user interface Designer and the Blocks programming editor, plus basic “blocks” programming concepts and tools for arithmetic, text processing, event handling, lists and other features. Volume 2 builds upon Volume 1 to provide tips on debugging programs when the apps work incorrectly, how to use hidden editing features, and how to install your own apps on to your phone or tablet for general use. Code samples are provided for using the Notifier component for general use or for debugging, for user interface control tricks such as buttons that change color continuously or implementing the missing “radio buttons” component, using ListPicker and Spinner for list selections, and using the WebViewer to display web pages in your app. The book includes a large section on designing and building a sample real world application and finishes with a chapter on using the TinyDB database.
For readers of the blog, Chapters 4–8 are based on the tutorial already presented here. Chapter 2 and Chapter 9 on TinyDB are all new material.
Chapter 1 – App Inventor Tips
Chapter 2 – Debugging App Inventor Programs
Chapter 3 – User Interface Control Tricks
Chapter 4 – Designing and Building a Real World Application
Chapter 5 – Tip Calculator Version 2
Chapter 6 – Tip Calculator Version 3
Chapter 7 – Tip Calculator Version 4
Chapter 8 – Tip Calculator Version 5
Chapter 9 – Using the TinyDB database
(Volume 3 is now available – App Inventor 2 Databases and Files adds substantially more information on TinyDB, plus TinyWebDB and Fusion Tables and includes the full introduction to TinyDB).