Finding a specific programming block with in the AI2 Blocks editor can be hard for new AI programmers.
You found a great code example online and want to recreate it by entering the blocks in to your program – but you cannot find that red block in the middle of the code sample? Where is it? !!!
You start poking around the drop down lists, scanning up and down the pop up menus, missing it the first time(!) and then going through all the blocks again until you finally locate that darned block! Frustrating!
Continue reading Tip: Using component colors to find components in the Blocks Editor →
How did you discover MIT App Inventor?
I discovered App Inventor just as Google was handing AI classic off to MIT. At the time I was looking at different kinds of development tools for mobile devices, and App Inventor showed up in some online searches.
I took a look at it and found it intriguing – at the time, AI classic did not seem quite capable of doing the things I was likely to need, but I intended to keep an eye on it.
A few months later, I was asked if we could quickly train some high school students to write Android apps? I have been a volunteer engineering mentor with FIRST Robotics programs for eight years. The new high school team where I was volunteering had intriguing ideas for mobile apps. When I was asked about the feasibility of quickly building some Android apps, I immediately proposed MIT App Inventor!
Our first student was so enthralled he literally stayed up half the night teaching himself App Inventor and soon was writing bundles of code for our Android tablet applications. Eventually another student joined the effort (from an iPhone background!) and rapidly came up to speed, writing a neat app in App Inventor.
Continue reading How did you discover MIT App Inventor? →
Volume 2 of the App Inventor 2 Tutorial is now available at Amazon as an e-book via this link: App Inventor 2 Tutorial Volume 2: Step-by-step: Advanced features including TinyDB. The e-book will also be available from Google Play shortly.
MIT App Inventor 2 is a fast and simple way to create custom Android apps for smart phones or tablets. Volume 2 in the series introduces debugging methods, explains additional controls not covered in Volume 1, introduces “agile” methods for developing a real world app, and provides sample code for using the TinyDB database.
The App Inventor 2 Tutorial series is targeted at adult learners (high school and up). App Inventor 2 provides a simplified “drag and drop” interface to layout your app’s screen design. Then implement the app’s behavior with “drag and drop” programming blocks to quickly assemble a program in a graphical interface.
Volume 1 of this series covered the basics of the App Inventor user interface Designer and the Blocks programming editor, plus basic “blocks” programming concepts and tools for arithmetic, text processing, event handling, lists and other features. Volume 2 builds upon Volume 1 to provide tips on debugging programs when the apps work incorrectly, how to use hidden editing features, and how to install your own apps on to your phone or tablet for general use. Code samples are provided for using the Notifier component for general use or for debugging, for user interface control tricks such as buttons that change color continuously or implementing the missing “radio buttons” component, using ListPicker and Spinner for list selections, and using the WebViewer to display web pages in your app. The book includes a large section on designing and building a sample real world application and finishes with a chapter on using the TinyDB database.
For readers of the blog, Chapters 4–8 are based on the tutorial already presented here. Chapter 2 and Chapter 9 on TinyDB are all new material.
- Chapter 1 – App Inventor Tips
- Chapter 2 – Debugging App Inventor Programs
- Chapter 3 – User Interface Control Tricks
- Chapter 4 – Designing and Building a Real World Application
- Chapter 5 – Tip Calculator Version 2
- Chapter 6 – Tip Calculator Version 3
- Chapter 7 – Tip Calculator Version 4
- Chapter 8 – Tip Calculator Version 5
- Chapter 9 – Using the TinyDB database
(Volume 3 is now available – App Inventor 2 Databases and Files adds substantially more information on TinyDB, plus TinyWebDB and Fusion Tables and includes the full introduction to TinyDB).
Volume 2 of the App Inventor 2 Tutorial will be available at Amazon and Google Play/Google books within a few days. Just waiting for the new title to clear through their review process.
Part 1 of this tutorial introduced Bluetooth communications and implemented a simple method of sending text data back and forth between two Android devices over the Bluetooth wireless link. If you are not familiar with using App Inventor’s Bluetooth component, start with Part 1.
In Part 2, a data packet concept is introduced to guide the communications between devices, and is used to send a combination of text and numeric data. This section introduces the concept of binary numbers so that you can understand why we would handle text and numbers in different ways.
This tutorial modifies the user interface of both the client and server programs introduced in Part 1. Then, blocks code is added to send text and numeric data. Numeric data is sent as binary data using special methods of the Bluetooth components.
Continue reading Part 2: Sending numeric data using App Inventor Bluetooth communications →