App Inventor is the simplest environment for developing Android apps. Here’s a short video explaining how you can develop and deploy an app in ten minutes (for the moment just in Spanish):
But simplicity comes at the cost of limitation. Most professional applications will be better developed with other environments with higher facilities for reuse, debugging, graphical design, etc.
Anyway, there’s still much you can do with AI, so even if you’re an expert you should consider it as a viable option whenever you intend to develop a light app in a very short time. You’ll definitely miss some features that may seem absolutely necessary, but if you don’t stop at the first obstacle you’ll discover the subset of features provided by AI allows to do much more than it may appear at first glance. Here are the three routes you can explore when facing one of these supposed limitations:
- Start by searching in the several existing forums. It would be a honor that you counted on this one, but there are many more. One of my favourite ones is Pura Vida App, which also provides a useful list of forums.
- If you fail to find a solution on the web, don’t resign yet. There are two more things to try. First off, use your brain. My experience with AI is that it’s (nearly) always possible to find a workaround ingenious solution for whatever requirement you have.
- Finally, if 1 and 2 fail, ask an expert. I wouldn’t claim to be one of them but I’ll be pleased to answer anyone who thinks I can help him. Other resources can also be found in the link referenced in the first point.
By the way, whenever you find a good solution, don’t forget to publish it. You can save time to others who will then be able to dedicate this time to help you in return. So, to start off, next comes my humble contribution to the first point. Enjoy it!
|Login template||Tutorial that shows how to create a login system for your apps. It includes the sources that can be used as a template for further applications.||Intermediate|
|Direct mail sending||How to send emails without user interaction||Intermediate|
|Multiscreen management||An “optimal” way to manage multiple screens||Intermediate|
|Encryption algorithm||A simple way to encrypt/decrypt texts in the client side with App Inventor||Intermediate|
|Automatic component resizing||How to adapt controls appearance depending on the screen orientation||Basic|
|Mulltilang & multidevice||How to support multiple languages and adapt to several screen sizes||Hard|
|Fast & safe fusiontables||Several tricks to ease the work with fusiontables improving security, performance and functionality||Hard|
|Life beyond AppInventor||What to do when we face a project with requirements not supported by AI? Here’s my advice, based as usually in my real experience||Basic|