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Google's Do-It-Yourself App Creation Software

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Google is offering software designed to make it simple for users to create their own applications for Android smartphones. The free software, called Google App Inventor for Android, has been under development for a year, with user testing being done by several different demographics, including sixth graders, high school girls, nursing students, and university undergraduates who are not computer science majors. "The goal is to enable people to become creators, not just consumers, in this mobile world," says Google's Harold Abelson.

The project is intended to give users a simple tool to let them tinker with smartphone software. The software enables people to drag and drop blocks of code and put them together, similar to snapping together Lego blocks. The tool is Web-based except for a small software download that automatically syncs the programs created on a personal computer.

"These aren't the slickest applications in the world," Abelson says. "But they are ones ordinary people can make, often in a matter of minutes."

From The New York Times
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