Not everyone has the knack to pick up coding right off the bat. Many are interested but it can be intimidating to get started… this applies to people who even take CS courses! There are so many programming languages out there, some simple and others not so much. In the past, if you had an interest for coding, the traditional way was to pick up a book and start from scratch. Then as time went along several tutorials were introduced along with online forums where one could ask their questions and get doubts clarified. The one thing that was always lacking was the capability to visualize one’s code while developing. Let the geniuses at MIT and Google find a solution for that issue. It is called Google Blockly and was developed as an extension of MIT’s App Inventor, an app that lets you develop applications for Android phones using a web browser and either a connected phone or emulator. What this means is anyone can learn to code (either for fun or in case you have a great idea and would like to monetize it by creating an app that can be sold on Google Play). We decided to include both Blockly and App Inventor together since they were developed hand in hand. You can develop applications without knowing any syntax and the app basically lets you drag and drop commands and logic like a big jigsaw puzzle.
Google Blockly
Blockly is a web-based, graphical programming language. Users can drag blocks together to build an application. No typing is required. Blockly is currently a technology preview and anyone can play with it and provide their feedback to the engineers at Google. For now, users can check out the demos and use Blockly to solve a maze, code and export a Blockly program into JavaScript, Dart, Python or XML and see what Blockly looks like in right-to-left mode (for Arabic and Hebrew).
App Inventor
App Inventor lets you develop applications for Android phones using a web browser and either a connected phone or emulator. The App Inventor servers store your work and help you keep track of your projects. Creating an App Inventor app begins in your browser, where you design how the app will look. Then, like fitting together puzzle pieces, you set your app’s behavior. All the while, through a live connection between your computer and your phone, your app appears on your phone.
Your app appears on the phone step-by-step as you add pieces to it, so you can test your work as you build. When you’re done, you can package your app and produce a stand-alone application to install. If you don’t have an Android phone, you can build your apps using the Android emulator , software that runs on your computer and behaves just like the phone. Below is a demo of App Inventor:
Here is more information on App Inventor. All we can say after seeing this is, oh how times have changed!

Leave a Reply