Create Your First App

PR0 Challenge 6.1 [80pts]

Adapted from MIT App Inventor

Learn how to use MIT App Inventor, a web-based app that uses a Scratch-like coding interface to build mobile apps for Android devices.

If you’re still a N008 at Scratch, check out the Introduction to Scratch Tutorial.

STEP 1: Synch the WiFi

This is a simple step. App Inventor will use WiFi to work between your computer and your Android device. Begin by making sure your Android device is connected to the SAME WiFi Network as your computer.

  1. On your laptop or desktop computer, click on the bottom right corner dashboard panel (where the clock, battery and WiFi icons can be found) to see what WiFi network you are "Connected to...";
  2. On your Android Device, find the Settings app in the applications menu to make sure the WiFi is "ON";
  3. Click on the WiFi menu item to see which network you are connected to; find the network you computer is on and click on it to connect.

STEP 2: MIT AI2 Companion

Your Andoid device needs a special App to run App Inventor hacks. Even if it's already installed on your device, go to this website and follow instructions (Step 1 only) to download the "MIT AI2 Companion App" from the Google Play Store.

STEP 3: Build a Magic 8-Ball

Take your first shot a using MIT App Inventor by building a simple app to predict the future!

Make sure you log into the MIT App Inventor web tool before you begin. You can use your personal account or the STEM Scholar shared Google login.
    Log In to the MIT App Inventor Web Tool

PRO TIP: When the web tool first launches, you may be dropped into some else's project

Make sure that you click on the "Projects" dropdown menu and select "My Projects", then click on "Start new project" above the projects list.
Screenshot 2016-01-30 06.05.26

Screenshot 2016-01-30 06.06.01

    Begin the Magic 8-Ball App Tutorial

STEP 4: Testing Your App

When you are done building your app and ready to test, you will need to connect the Android to the App Inventor. Go back to this tutorial to see instructions on how.

Basically, you need to:

  1. Choose "Connect" and "AI Companion" from the App Inventor website's top menu;
  2. A QR code will appear. On your device, launch the MIT App Companion app then click the “Scan QR code” button and scan the QR code;
  3. Within a few seconds, you should see the app you are building on your device. If you have trouble scanning the QR code, type the code shown on the computer into the text area in the companion and choose "Connect with code".
connecting to AI2 Companion

STEP 5: Sharing Your App

Make sure to update your Project Portfolio with your new app!

Can you figure out how to download an apk file version of your app project so that you can link it in your web page using html? What about using a QR code? Take some screenshots of your app code to help demonstrate what you did.

While still inside the App Inventor web tool, click on the Build dropdown in the top-menu to find apk file sharing options; apk files can be opened on an Android device to launch an app.
saving an apk file