Google outs idiot-proof Android App Inventor

Google has released a set of tools which will allow anyone to build applications for Android mobile devices with no programming knowledge at all.

The Android App inventor uses a familiar tabbed interface and drag-and-drop building blocks to create simple apps built from hundreds of different components.

Blocks can be used to add video, images or sound and access the device's motion-sensing and touch-screen APIs, all without even looking at a line of code.

Everything is designed in a creator window and is ported live to the USB-connected handset, so you can see exactly what you are getting at every stage of the process.

A spokesgoogler said, "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."

You can also call on the handset's GPS and telephone hardware for use in your home-grown apps.

The tools are based on MIT's Open Blocks Java Library and is closely related to the Scratch programming language.

You can download the software, have a look at some sample applications built with the tools, and watch a bunch of tutorial videos here.