Free Sample
+ Collection
Code Files

Google App Inventor

Ralph Roberts

Create powerful Android apps the easy all-visual way with Google App Inventor using this book and eBook
RRP $23.99
RRP $39.99
Print + eBook

Want this title & more?

$12.99 p/month

Subscribe to PacktLib

Enjoy full and instant access to over 2000 books and videos – you’ll find everything you need to stay ahead of the curve and make sure you can always get the job done.

Book Details

ISBN 139781849692120
Paperback356 pages

About This Book

  • All the basics of App Inventor in plain English with lots of illustrations
  • Learn how apps get created with lots of simple, fun examples
  • By an author with over 100 books, who keeps it entertaining, informative, and memorable. You’ll be inventing apps from the first day.


Who This Book Is For

This book is perfect for people with little or no experience, not just Android developers. No matter your level of experience, you will find plenty of information that you can use to create powerful apps, apps that can be published on Android Market and other places.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Obtaining and Installing Google App Inventor
Getting a Google App Inventor Account
Time for action signing up for a Google Account
Google App Inventor on the Web
Time for action logging into App Inventor
Requirements for Windows, Mac, and Linux
Obtaining and installing Java
Installing Java on your computer
Installing App Inventor locally
Time for action installing App Inventor on Mac
Time for action installing App Inventor on GNU/Linux
Time for action installing App Inventor on Windows
Setting up and running the emulator
Time for action opening up the emulator
Finding and downloading drivers
Time for action connecting a Droid to Ubuntu
Time for action configuring our device
Chapter 2: Learning Components
Using App Inventor's web interface
Time for action creating a new project
Time for action downloading our projects
Time for action uploading source code
Time for action connecting our phone
Basic components
Time for action adding and configuring a button
Time for action follow the bouncing ball
Media components
Time for action shooting a photo
Time for action vibrating buttons
Animation components
Social components
Sensor components
Screen arrangement components
LEGO® MINDSTORMS® components
Other stuff
Not ready for prime time
Chapter 3: Playing with Blocks
The Blocks Editor
Time for action collapse and expand block groups
Time for action deleting unwanted blocks
Definition blocks
Time for action calculating the area of a circle using a function Design
Time for action calculating the area of a circle using a function
Time for action finishing the "pi are square" app
Time for action adding an error trap
Text Blocks
List blocks
Math blocks
Logic blocks
Control blocks
Time for action making a loop
Colors blocks
Individual component blocks
Chapter 4: Mastering Concepts and Advanced Components
Other stuff
Time for action building bookmark apps
Time for action our very own barcode scanner
Time for action build a time- and date-stamped Voice Note Taker
Time for action reading aloud
Time for action storing persistent data on the web
Not Ready for Prime Time
What we learned
Chapter 5: Apps That Communicate
App—phone home
Time for action getting the source
Texting with words and more
Time for action building a texting app
Time for action create a text-your-friends app
Applications e-mailing stuff
Time for action that Loving feeling
Social communication
Time for action two methods for searching Twitter
A bonus template
Chapter 6: Apps That Remember
Lists and Lists of Lists
Time for action building the input screen for a Friends List
Time for action converting a CSV table
TinyDB—persistent to please
Web component—reaching out to the web
Time for action using parsing to break out the states of India
Chapter 7: Apps That Surf the Web
Browsing and using websites
Time for action building an eBay link app
Fusion Tables—Google's free online data service
Quickie data-getter—finding the fourth way
TinyWebDB—accessing and storing data
Time for action testing TinyWebDB
Publishing your apps for the world
Chapter 8: Apps That Know Where They Are
Time for action showing three websites at the same time inside an app
Son of Changelog
Using the location sensor
Using Google Maps
Time for action determining our location by network
Time for action determining our location by GPS
Time for action taking a look from space
Using the AccelerometerSensor component
Time for action seeing gravity and acceleration on our phones
Time for action nice and level
Which way are we?
Time for action seeing azimuth, pitch, and roll
Time for action building a compass
How high are we?
Time for action finding your current altitude
How far from home are we?
Time for action creating the end and the beginning
Time for action getting the current address, longitude, and latitude
Time for action saving our home location
Time for action the distance between home and wherever here is
Chapter 9: Games and Animation!
Time for action bouncing a ball
Time for action banging things off each other
Splash screens
Time for action designing a splash screen
Time for action making a splash with the splash page
Bash the Alien!
Time for action throwing blocks to Bash the Alien!
Knowledge games
GameClient component
Thank you!

What You Will Learn

  • Install App Inventor (did we mention it’s free?), and use emulator and your phone as test devices.
  • Package apps, install them on your phone, share with friends, and publish them to Market and other places.
  • Design apps by choosing the right components and formatting the screens so that everything looks as good as it works!
  • Learn how the blocks click together and smoothly perform the tasks your app needs to accomplish, and understand which blocks do what.
  • Explore the advanced concepts of App Inventor, such as the ActivityStarter, which lets AI communicate with and manipulate other apps.
  • Create apps that email, text, tweet, use databases, find GPS coordinates, play games, and a great deal more!


In Detail

The number of mobile apps has grown exponentially in the last two years. If you want to join the crowd, Google’s App Inventor is the easiest and best tool for you to get started with. It is a tool to create Android phone apps and uses a graphical user interface, and drag and drop methods to create apps. It’s so simple that anyone can build an app.

Learn how Google App Inventor eliminates the mystery around programming. It is a visual language, where we simply drag and drop blocks (graphic elements representing blocks of code) in various combinations to give us applications that run on our phones or other Android-based devices. No programming background is required. Playing with blocks has never been more fun!

The emphasis is on creating apps that work and that you understand fully. The first part of the book gives you a sound foundation in the basics, and lots of tips on how to use App Inventor. The second part is all about creating complete apps ready for real world use. The book includes apps that communicate, use databases to remember, surf the Web and other networks, use GPS and various sensors on your phone, and let you write or play games.


Read More