Pet Project – Invent your own app

Turn a coin from your creativity this weekend and build an app with these handy virtual tools...

App Inventor

£free

appinventor.googlelabs.com

Once upon a time, you had to be a skilled programmer to create new software. Now all you need is a good idea.

Here's how to rustle up your own million-selling Android app this weekend:

1. Take one Android device...

True to its Linux roots, Android supports home-made apps that you can distribute freely.

2. Add App Inventor...

It’s free, and it works on Linux, Windows and Mac OS. Run it on your home computer, with your Android device attached via USB.

3. Get building

The WYSIWYG interface requires no previous experience – you move program blocks around 
to create processes, rather than writing lines of code yourself. Support for fancy features, such as accelerometers, digital compasses and voice recognition, is built in.

4. Test your app

Transfer it to your phone or tablet, and give it a whirl. If it doesn’t work, go back and tinker with your blocks until it does.

5. Share your work

Google says you’ll soon be able to upload your apps to Android Market, but for now you can just share the source code for your app with fellow Inventors.

Alternatively...

Appmakr

£free | appmakr.com

You can use this WYSIWYG editor to make iThing apps, too; it will even take you through submitting your work to the App Store (you need a developer account, which costs US$100 per year). Support for Android and WP7 has just been announced, too.

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