Google App Inventor


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I built an application and made this presentation for a class of mine. I wanted to demonstrate how easy Google App Inventor can be to use in building personal apps as well as introducing others to the world of application programing. Your comments and questions are very welcome!

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  • Hello!My name is Michael Trest. I’m an Instructional Technology Ph.D. student at the University of Southern Mississippi. Today I’m going to be talking about Google App Inventor.
  • I want to talk about what App Inventor is, who can use it, what its limitations are, what it does, and how you can use it. I’m also going to be showing you an application that I made to demonstrate how app inventor could be used.
  • So, what is Google App Inventor?It is a way to make Applications for Android phones and tablets. Now before you block me out and think that this is only for “techy” people, please listen. This program is very intuitive and user friendly. You don’t need to purchase any software or download some huge file (just a little one and its free). You can work totally in your browser of choice. I used Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox and the program worked flawlessly. The “programming” part works like legos or putting a puzzle together, but don’t be fooled. This program can create some very complex applications. You just have to use your imagination and get in to play.
  • Like I said before, this program is to be used by anyone interested in creating an Android application. This program is most suited for 1) non-programmers or beginners, 2) High-school and introductory programming students (and their teachers), 3) Someone who doesn’t want to spend a great deal of time creating an application to see if it will work and 4) people who just want to make an application for personal use
  • This program is probably not the best one for people who are 1) experienced programmers, 2) Very large scale projects 3) applications that you want to distribute on the Google Application Marketplace or Amazon Appstore 4) very veryvery complex Applications. This tool will best be utilized by teachers and students as well as application enthusiasts.
  • App inventor is mostly a “what you see is what you get” creator in which you drag the different parts or components of your application from a preset library to the “screen”. The “programming” part acts like a puzzle where you take blocks and fit them together. It is really that simple.
  • The most important part of this whole process is the planning process. You can’t build an app if you don’t know what you want to do with it or what you want it to do. Research whats out there, think about some things you’d like to use your phone for, come up with a plan. The details of your project may change once you come up with better ideas or experience limitations, but your overall goal will probably not change very much. Something that is very important is to look up what others have done. If this is your first project or you don’t know much about programming (like me), then you may even have to see what the program can do and walk step by step through some of the tutorials in order to be able to make it through the project.
  • My app used my phone as a classroom polling device. The students would press a, b, or c to correspond to a poll on The application sends responses in the form of text messages, but the students simply have to press the right button instead of texting the long numbers every time.
  • You first have to sign up for a Google account. You’ll also need to set up your computer to run the java blocks editor. This is a pretty small download and only takes a minute. After you do these two steps you’re ready to start making your app.
  • This is the app inventor WYSIWIG screen
  • Choose what components you will need for your application to work and drag them onto the screen. Then change the names of the components to something meaningful so that you can easily “program” them
  • This is my app and the different components
  • This is the properties panel for one of the buttons and the list of names
  • Upload any media. (pictures, backgrounds, sounds, etc.)
  • This is the media panel
  • Ok now for the programming. Don’t Panic :) The tutorials are extremely helpful in this part. Look at the names, the libraries, and the functions and after a little while they really begin to make sense what they are for.
  • The left panel is where all of the available functions are. The right side is all of the functions that I used.
  • Here is what each of the components do
  • You can test (debug) your application at anytime by connecting to your phone or by running an emulator. Once your application is finished, you can download it to your phone, download to your computer (for other App Inventor users to use), or package for a QR code that you can use on any phone, but it has to be linked to your Google inventor account.
  • Here are some of the resources that I used to make this presentation. I relied heavily upon some of the tutorials. I had an idea of what I wanted to do and I just changed the pieces of the tutorial that weren’t relevant to my project
  • I hope that you enjoy app inventor as much as I have. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I don’t hold any copyrights to any of this stuff nor do I claim any originality for app inventor or polleverywhere. I do think my app idea is pretty cool so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t rip it off :). ThanksMichael
  • Google App Inventor

    1. 1. Google <br />App Inventor<br />Michael Trest<br />University of Southern Mississippi <br />IT 780<br />
    2. 2. Intro<br />What is Google App Inventor? <br />Who can use it?<br />What are its limitations? <br />What does it do?<br />How do I use it?<br />
    3. 3. What is Google App Inventor?<br />Create Android Applications<br />Intuitive <br />I’m not just saying that. It really is :)<br />Browser Based <br />Access and work from any computer <br />Programming like playing with Legos<br />Very powerful with some creative thought<br />
    4. 4. Who can use it?<br />Anybody!!<br />Specifically for:<br />Non-programmers<br />Introductory programming students<br />Someone who wants to quickly put feet to an app idea<br />Making an app for personal use<br />
    5. 5. What are the limitations?<br />Not very useful for:<br />Experienced programmers<br />Other than quick “mock-ups”<br />Mass distribution for applications<br />Extremely Advanced Applications<br />
    6. 6. What does it do?<br />WYSIWIG App Creator<br />Drag and Drop components to places on a screen<br />Programming blocks have set functions to choose from<br />Uses real programming terms<br />
    7. 7. How do I use it?<br />Plan! Plan! Plan!<br />Planning is vital to the development of your application. <br />Have a good idea of what the end goal of your application is going to do<br />Be prepared to change details, but stay the course for your original end goal.<br />You may want to look up tutorials and examples to get some ideas. This is helpful in the “programming” part.<br />My example:<br />Original Plan: Build an application that uses “Poll Everywhere” to work as a classroom polling device.<br />
    8. 8. How do I use it?<br />
    9. 9. How do I use it?<br />Sign up for Google App Inventor<br />This just takes a minute :)<br />Go to:<br />You can use your Google or Gmail Account<br />Set up your computer<br /><br />You’ll have to download some setup things before the Java Blocks Editor will work <br />
    10. 10. How do I use it?<br />App components<br />Component Properties<br />App components<br />Phone Screen<br />Uploaded Media<br />
    11. 11. How do I use it?<br />Determine the components you need and drag them onto the screen.<br />Buttons, labels, text fields, etc.<br />My example:<br />I needed 4 Labels, 4 Text fields, 3 buttons, 2 layout fields, 1 texting component, and 1 sound object<br />Give them meaningful names and adjust each one’s properties<br />
    12. 12. How do I use it?<br />Text-fields<br />App components<br />Buttons<br />Labels<br />
    13. 13. How do I use it?<br />Give Meaningful Names<br />Adjust the properties<br />
    14. 14. How do I use it?<br />Upload any extra media<br />Sounds, pictures, etc.<br />My Example<br />I uploaded 3 picture backgrounds, 1 main background, and 1 sound<br />
    15. 15. How do I use it?<br />
    16. 16. How do I use it?<br />Open Blocks Editor<br /><ul><li>Here’s the most difficult part, but still not as bad as learning a programming language.</li></ul>You need to determine what functions should be used <br />This is where tutorials and explanations are very helpful<br />Use help docs, community resources<br />My Example<br />Each button refers to a:<br />A sound event<br />A color change for the status<br />A phone number and a message to send<br />A “send text message” function<br />
    17. 17. How do I use it?<br />Used functions<br />Available Functions<br />
    18. 18. How do I use it?<br />Play sound<br />Change status color<br />When you click the button it does everything inside<br />Text field properties (send to, and what to send)<br />Now send the message<br />It works like a puzzle.. Just put the pieces together where they fit<br />
    19. 19. How do I use it?<br />Test out your application and see what your application looks like by connecting your phone or running the “emulator”<br />When its finished, package your application to run on your phone, save it to your computer, or download it by scanning a QR code. <br />QR download is only available for you to use<br />
    20. 20. How do I use it?<br />Connected to my phone via USB<br />An Emulator to use if you don’t have an android phone or just can’t plug it in<br />
    21. 21. More Resources<br />“About” App Inventor<br /><br />Learn more about Google App Inventor<br /><br />App Inventor Forums<br /><br />Other slideshare presentations<br /><br /><br />
    22. 22. Have fun! <br />I realize that all of this stuff is free (App Inventor, Poll Everywhere) and my idea isn’t revolutionary, but if you’d like to use this or need any help with it, please contact me first. I’ll be glad to help in anyway that I possibly can. Thanks!<br />mt<br /><br />