June 14, 2011

16 Secondary School Students from Singapore invent Apps on Android using "Appinventor for Android"

What is App Inventor ?

App Inventor from Google Labs allows anyone, and not just professional developers, to develop professional-quality software on the Android platform. This is because, instead of writing code, developers visually design the way the app looks and use blocks to specify the app's behavior. The AppInventor allows users to design, load and share the application, all from the browser.

Many different types of apps can be built with the "App Inventor for Android". From simple games to apps that make use of the phone's sensors to control an object on screen such as a ball through a maze based on tilting the phone, the App Inventor is able to make use of many of the features built-in the android platform. With Android's text-to-speech capabilities, you can even have the phone ask the questions aloud.

The App Inventor team has created blocks for just about everything you can do with an Android phone, as well as blocks for doing "programming-like" stuff-- blocks to store information, blocks for repeating actions, and blocks to perform actions under certain conditions. There are even blocks to talk to services like Twitter.

Work Attachment Program

16 secondary 3 students (15 from Zhonghua Secondary School and 1 from Raffles Girls Secondary School) were attached from 30 May 2011 to 3 June 2011 with the Mobile Security Group of the Institute for Infocomm Research. During the 1 week’s program, these young minds were exposed to the field of mobile application development on a leading smartphone platform - Android. The students used AppInventor from Google labs and visually developed the application without writing even a single line of code. First, the students were exposed to AppInventor introductory lectures and hands-on session for 2 days. Then, the students in groups of 3, designed 5 different applications all by themselves - 2 games, 1 quiz and 2 user applications.

Applications Developed

Animal Quiz
This application is catered to kids who would learn to recognize the various animals, fish and their properties. Each question would contain a picture and the 3 options. Each correct answer would award the user a point.

Fast Response
This game is used to test and improve the coordination between the user's eyes and hands. From many constantly moving images, the user would have to touch the correct image to get a point. Every wrongly touched image would earn a negative score. As the instruction changes, the user would have to pick on different image every time.

Memory Game
This age old game of matching 2 cards with the same image has now become electronic. The Winnie-the-pooh themed game contains pictures of the cartoon character making the game fun and liked by children.

Numeric Keypad
Wouldn't it be fun to spice up the boring built-in calculator application? Well, the numeric keypad does just that. Its a musical themed calculator which plays musical notes as you calculate various mathematical problems.

Slide Show
The Slide Show application allows user to select various pictures from the gallery and play it as a Slide Show.

Video highlights

Applications developed

The App Inventor source of applications developed along with APK and names of the students who developed the applications are shared at this link