App Inventor Discontinued

appinventor.gifI have just learnt that App Inventor for Android is going to be discontinued. Two days ago, I gave some tips on how to evaluate app generators. The end of App Inventor provides a timely example of what happens when you tie yourself into a 3rd party technology that disappears. There are many posts on Google Labs, most of them unhappy, that App Inventor is being discontinued.

We are told that the code will be open sourced. I don’t see how this will help unless some organisation takes over looking after App Inventor. I see this as similar to Symbian OPL. It was a great technology that allowed anyone to create an app. Symbian axed it and made it open source. OPL then changed little over time, aged and became useless on newer OS versions.

To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed with App Inventor. Neverthless, I still see the need for an entry level app creation environment for Android. Scripting Layer for Android (SL4A) gets close but needs development skills to create an app. Maybe there’s an opening for an environment based on SL4A?