Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dang it Google : App Inventor to be discontinued

I've written before about a Google Labs jewel called App Inventor.  It allows non-programmers, or hobbyist programmers like myself, to create programs for Android phones and tablets.

Now news that as part of Google's elimination of many of their Labs ( their source of not fully realized products and add-ons), App Inventor will be discontinued.

Per Google :
With the winding down of Google Labs, Google will discontinue App Inventor as a Google product and will open source the code. Additionally, because of App Inventor’s success in the education space, we are exploring opportunities to support the educational use of App Inventor on an open source platform.
As a result of these changes App Inventor will be available through the end of the year but users should expect the current App Inventor URL, to change sometime in the next 90 days. Please subscribe to the App Inventor Announcement forum for future updates.
And then, almost cruelly, the post goes on to talk about how great App Inventor is.

With Android tablets now reaching sub-$300 price points, I'd anticipated more and more students getting access to tablets.  I know of an Autism teacher using an iPad very successfully with her students.  Many parents look on and wish they could afford an iPad.  The less expensive Android tablets are getting into their reach.

I could see special apps being designed for individual student's needs using App Inventor.

Let's hope App Inventor stays available for those of us not in a University setting.

And hopefully, maybe..., some company will take the App Inventor code and enhance it further and make it more usable   Right now, it is a useful toy, but with a little development effort, that it won't be getting from Google now, it could be a great tool.

I've written about App Inventor before.

Via: Jason Howell on Google+

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