Android is the buzz word right now. This is a great time for developers and users alike. But we still have the distinction of “developers” and “end users”. That difference is set to blur now.
The pre-requisite for writing an android application was Knowledge of the Java programming language. With the introduction of Android Scripting Engine (ASE), Python developers too can join the fun. But still we have the user/developer distinction. Anyone with a great idea but lack of knowledge of any of the programming languages cannot participate in the development. But that is going to disappear with the introduction of Google’s App Inventor. What is App Inventor?
Far from the traditional development style of using an editor and compiler, App Inventor uses the browser as the development environment. It also has the dependency of JavaWebStart (standalone Java applications can be run from the network). It works very smoothly on Linux (Fedora 14). It allows you to run the app you have developed on an emulator or your phone directly. The real advantage comes from the fact that you design with a drag and drop interface, so you don’t to peep into XML files for the layout design. So how do you specify the actions on the objects, or tell this app provides services etc? That’s where the fun is waiting, just assembling puzzle pieces logically. How it works?
On installing the APK, it also loads another APK which supports this kind of framework into the phone, which helps our app to run. The app apk itself is a set of XML files. But I don’t yet understand how the XML “runs” the application, but what I know is what ever I do in the App Inventor works flawlessly in my phone.
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