Have App Inventor questions?

If you have questions about App Inventor or App Inventor programming, try posting your questions on the Facebook page “wall” and also here in the comments (I will be working to have the comments cross linked between this web site and FB eventually).

Also check out these two online forums:

Carlos has posted a good question about a problem with Bluetooth communications. If you can help, add a comment there.


Using TimePicker and DatePicker for entering time and date information

The TimePicker and DatePicker User Interface Controls

Entering the date and time are common features of business applications. We could use a text edit box and let the user type in times (like 10:30) or dates (12 January 2015) but both methods require the user to enter the time or date in the proper format – and the app needs to test the entered data to ensure it was entered correctly.

A better solution is to use App Inventors TimePicker and DatePicker controls. Both provide a graphical method of selecting input values. For example, the TimePicker displays the following:

TimeDate_TimePickerUIThe time is set by pressing the + or – buttons above and below the hours and minutes. The AM/PM indicator is a toggle – when it shows PM, a press changes it to AM, and when it shows AM, a press changes it to PM. With this input system, the user can never entered an invalid time (the user could, of course, enter the wrong time, but that is a different problem!)

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Raspberry Pi 2 (US $35) computer board features Scratch

Raspberry Pi 2 is a US$ 35 computer board to which you attach a monitor, keyboard, mouse and Ethernet connection. You can use the Pi 2 for web browsing and other functions, but it also comes with Scratch.

Scratch is a programming system that is very similar to MIT App Inventor. You can learn more about Scratch in our previous post on that topic!

But because one of Raspberry Pi’s goals is to advance computer science education, there’s a few pieces of bundled software that can help achieve that goal. This includes a drag-and-drop visual programming language called Scratch (great for beginners to create animations and games), as well as Sonic Pi (for creating electronic music) and more advanced programming languages like Python (also included).

via Surf Report: Taking a bite out of Raspberry Pi.

And speaking of STEM, here are some videos from yesterday’s Oregon City FRC FIRST Robotics Pacific Northwest District 2 (Oregon) robotics competition. 35 high school robotic teams took part, with Team #4488 “Shockwave” taking first by total points. I am biased: I am a volunteer engineering mentor with the Shockwave team, from Glencoe High School, Hillsboro, Oregon. Go Shockwave!

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