This morning’s email greeted me with a letter from Google announcing the end of App Inventor as a Google product.
Dear App Inventor User,As weÂ announcedÂ on theÂ App Inventor Announcement Forum, Google will end support for App Inventor on December 31, 2011, after which data inÂ appinventorbeta.comÂ will not be accessible and will be deleted from Google servers. Â You can preserve your App Inventor projects by simply clicking on the Download All Projects button on your My Projects page. Â This will download to your computer a zipped archive of all your projects. Â We recommend you retrieve your projects well before December 31st.
By the end of 2011 Google will also be making the complete App Inventor source code publicly available under an open source license, so that anyone can study the code and modify it as they desire.In order to ensure the future success of App Inventor, Google has funded the establishment of aÂ Center for Mobile LearningÂ at the MIT Media Lab. Â Sometime in the first quarter of 2012, the Center plans to provide an App Inventor service for general public access, similar to the one Google is currently running.In order for you to continue working with your projects in an open source instance (MIT or otherwise) of App Inventor you will need to download your data fromÂ appinventorbeta.combefore December 31st and later upload them to an open source instance as it becomes available.The App Inventor Team
Recently, I’ve had a chance to work on my first Android app project and quite honestly, compared to building iOS apps, Android is a mess. There are a lot of things like gesture support for one, which are easy to do in iOS and unnecessarily difficult in Android.
I had hoped that App Inventor might grow up into a tool that would take a lot of the pain out of building Android apps. That may yet happen, but not as a Google product. I’m happy at least that Google is releasing the code so that others can build on this promising development platform.